Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Developments on drug discovery and on new therapeutics: highly diluted tinctures act as biological response modifiers

Carolina C de Oliveira, Ana Paula R Abud, Simone M de Oliveira, Fernando de SF Guimarães, Lucas F de Andrade, Raffaello P Di Bernardi, Ediely L de O Coletto, Diogo Kuczera, Eneida J Da Lozzo, Jenifer P Gonçalves, Edvaldo da S Trindade and Dorly de F Buchi*

Author Affiliations

Laboratório de Estudos de Células Inflamatórias e Neoplásicas, Departamento de Biologia Celular, SCB, Centro Politecnico, Universidade Federal do Paraná - Curitiba, CEP 81531-980, PR - Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:101  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-101

Published: 26 October 2011



In the search for new therapies novel drugs and medications are being discovered, developed and tested in laboratories. Highly diluted substances are intended to enhance immune system responses resulting in reduced frequency of various diseases, and often present no risk of serious side-effects due to its low toxicity. Over the past years our research group has been investigating the action of highly diluted substances and tinctures on cells from the immune system.


We have developed and tested several highly diluted tinctures and here we describe the biological activity of M1, M2, and M8 both in vitro in immune cells from mice and human, and in vivo in mice. Cytotoxicity, cytokines released and NF-κB activation were determined after in vitro treatment. Cell viability, oxidative response, lipid peroxidation, bone marrow and lymph node cells immunophenotyping were accessed after mice in vivo treatment.


None of the highly diluted tinctures tested were cytotoxic to macrophages or K562. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages treated with all highly diluted tinctures decreased tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release and M1, and M8 decreased IFN-γ production. M1 has decreased NF-κB activity on TNF-α stimulated reporter cell line. In vivo treatment lead to a decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) production was increased by M1, and M8, and lipid peroxidation was induced by M1, and M2. All compounds enhanced the innate immunity, but M1 also augmented acquired immunity and M2 diminished B lymphocytes, responsible to acquired immunity.


Based on the results presented here, these highly diluted tinctures were shown to modulate immune responses. Even though further investigation is needed there is an indication that these highly diluted tinctures could be used as therapeutic interventions in disorders where the immune system is compromised.

drug discovery; highly diluted tinctures; immune cells; bone marrow cells; lymph node cells; macrophages