Immunomodulatory potential of extracts, fractions and pure compounds from Phyllanthus amarus and Psidium guajava on striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) head kidney leukocytes

Truong Quynh Nhu, Nguyen Phuc Dam, Bui Thi Bich Hang, Le Thi Bach, Do Thi Thanh Huong, Bui Thi Buu Hue, Marie Louise Scippo, Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Joëlle Quetin-Leclercq, Patrick Kestemont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to identify major phytochemical constituents, as well as compare the immunomodulatory effects of Psidium guajava L. and Phyllanthus amarus Schun and Thonn crude ethanol extracts and their fractions on striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) head kidney leukocytes (HKLs). Moreover, pure constituents were also investigated for their effects on those cells: hypophyllanthin, identified as a major constituent of P. amarus crude extracts and its hexane fraction; corosolic acid, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid, identified in P. guajava crude extract, ethyl acetate and dichloromethane fractions; with other terpenic derivatives, as well as guajaverin and avicularin, identified with other flavonoids by LC-UV-MS in the crude P. guajava extract and its ethyl acetate fraction. Cell viability, respiratory burst assay (RBA), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and lysozyme activity in HKLs were analyzed after 24 h stimulation with each extract (10, 20 and 40 μg/mL) or pure compound (7.5, 15 and 30 μM). Our results show that the hexane fraction of both plant extracts inhibited the viability of HKLs, while several other fractions enhanced the cell viability. All P. guajava fractions at all or some concentration considerably enhanced the RBA production in HKLs. Similarly, NOS production was also significantly increased by some or all concentrations of P. guajava dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions. However, the NOS production was dose-dependently inhibited in HKLs treated with Pa ethyl acetate and both plants aqueous fractions at 10 or 10 and 40 μg/mL respectively. The lysozyme activity in cells treated with P. guajava crude extracts and all its organic solvent fractions were stronger than those in P. amarus treatments. Pure compounds including corosolic acid, guajaverin, ursolic acid, hypophyllanthin inhibited the HKLs viability according to concentration and type of compound. All pure compounds except avicularin significantly stimulated, at certain or all concentrations, the RBA production and/or the lysozyme activity in HKLs. The NOS production was significantly reduced in HKLs treated with oleanolic acid (30 μM) and hypophyllanthin (7.5 μM) while its level was increased by hypophyllanthin at 30 μM. These results highlighted that the crude ethanol extracts of P. guajava and P. amarus, their fractions and some of their pure components at certain concentrations can potentially act as immunomodulators, and could be considered as valuable candidates in fishery sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-303
Number of pages15
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Cellular immune response
  • Fractions
  • Head kidney leukocytes
  • Lysozyme
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Phyllanthus amarus
  • Phytochemical constituents
  • Plant extract
  • Psidium guajava
  • Pure compound
  • Respiratory burst
  • Striped catfish


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