Adjuvant activity of saponins from Kazakhstani plants on the immune responses to subunit influenza vaccine
Eight pure triterpenoid saponin compounds isolated from the root of Polygala senega L., a plant indigenous to the Canadian prairies, were evaluated for their immunological activity in mouse models. The specific antibody responses of the IgG2a subclass increased significantly when isolated P. senega saponins were used as adjuvants in the immunization of mice with OVA antigen. In addition, increased IL-2 levels were observed in spleen cell cultures from P. senega saponin-immunized mice after in vitro secondary antigen stimulation. The saponins were tested for their toxicity in mice by using a haemolytic activity assay and found to be less toxic than Quillaja saponaria saponins that have long been used as adjuvants in vaccine formulations. This study has shown the potential of P. senega saponins to be considered as a natural source of vaccine adjuvants with biological activity equivalent to the current commercially available saponin adjuvants.