Immunomodulatory pretreatment withKalanchoe pinnataextract and its quercitrin flavonoid effectively protects mice against fatal anaphylactic shock

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Previously, we reported the immunosuppressive action of the aqueous extract of Kalanchoe pinnata (Kp) in mice. In the present study, we report on the protective effect of Kp in fatal anaphylactic shock, likewise a Th2-driven immunopathology, and the identification of its active component. Mice daily treated with oral Kp during hypersensitization with ovalbumin were all protected against death when challenged with the allergen, as compared with the 100% mortality in the untreated group. A single intraperitoneal dose 3 h prior to challenge was partially effective. Oral protection was accompanied by a reduced production of OVA-specific IgE antibodies, reduced eosinophilia, and impaired production of the IL-5, IL-10 and TNF-α cytokines. In vitro, Kp prevented antigen-induced mast cell degranulation and histamine release. Oral treatment with the quercitrin flavonoid isolated from Kp prevented fatal anaphylaxis in 75% of the animals. These findings indicate that oral treatment with Kp effectively downmodulates pro-anaphylactic inducing immune responses. Protection achieved with quercitrin, although not maximal, suggests that this flavonoid is a critical component of Kp extract against this extreme allergic reaction.

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