Flavonoids are polyphenols frequently consumed in the diet they have been suggested to exert a number of beneficial actions on human health, including anti-inflammatory activity. This study investigated the immunomodulatory effects of two flavonoids, Chrysin and Hesperetin.
The effects of flavonoids on B and T cell proliferation were assessed on splenocytes stimulated or not with mitogens. However, their effects on cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and natural killer (NK) activities were assessed in splenocytes co-incubated with target cells. We report for the first time that both tested flavonoids enhance lymphocyte proliferation at 3.12 μM. Chrysin significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lectin stimulated splenocyte proliferation. Whereas, hesperetin enhanced LPS and lectin stimulated splenocyte proliferation. In addition, both flavonoids significantly enhance NK cell and CTL activities. Furthermore, our study demonstrated that depending on the concentrations, flavonoid molecules affect macrophage functions by modulating their lysosomal activity and nitric oxide (NO) release, suggesting a potential anti-inflammatory effect.
We conclude that flavonoids such as chrysin and hesperetin may be potentially useful for modulating immune cell functions in physiological and pathological conditions and thus a good candidate as food addition component.