Open Access Research article

Syzygium jambolanum treatment improves survival in lethal sepsis induced in mice

Márcia CG Maciel1, Jardel C Farias1, Michele J Maluf1, Eliane A Gomes2, Paulo VS Pereira1, Walmir C Aragão-Filho1, Josias B Frazão1, Graciomar C Costa1, Sanara M Sousa1, Lucilene A Silva1, Flávia MM Amaral1, Momtchilo Russo2, Rosane NM Guerra1 and Flávia RF Nascimento1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Immunophysiology. Federal University of Maranhão, São Luís, MA, Brazil

2 Laboratory of Immunobiology. São Paulo University, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2008, 8:57  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-8-57

Published: 13 October 2008

Abstract

Background

The leaves and the fruits from Syzygium jambolanum DC.(Myrtaceae), a plant known in Brazil as sweet olive or 'jambolão', have been used by native people to treat infectious diseases, diabetes, and stomachache. Since the bactericidal activity of S. jambolanum has been confirmed in vitro, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the prophylactic treatment with S. jambolanum on the in vivo polymicrobial infection induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in mice.

Methods

C57Bl/6 mice were treated by the subcutaneous route with a hydroalcoholic extract from fresh leaves of S. jambolanum (HCE). After 6 h, a bacterial infection was induced in the peritoneum using the lethal CLP model. The mice were killed 12 h after the CLP induction to evaluate the cellular influx and local and systemic inflammatory mediators' production. Some animals were maintained alive to evaluate the survival rate.

Results

The prophylactic HCE treatment increased the mice survival, the neutrophil migration to infectious site, the spreading ability and the hydrogen peroxide release, but decreased the serum TNF and nitrite. Despite the increased migration and activation of peritoneal cells the HCE treatment did not decrease the number of CFU. The HCE treatment induced a significant decrease on the bone marrow cells number but did not alter the cell number of the spleen and lymph node.

Conclusion

We conclude that the treatment with S. jambolanum has a potent prophylactic anti-septic effect that is not associated to a direct microbicidal effect but it is associated to a recruitment of activated neutrophils to the infectious site and to a diminished systemic inflammatory response.