Objective: The present study was aimed to evaluate the effect of the aqueous extract of
Tinospora cordifolia (AETC) against cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression and systemic
Candida albicans infection in a murine model.
Methods: The protective effect of AETC against cyclophosphamide-induced leukopenia was evaluated
by quantitative and qualitative analysis of the leukocytes. The immune-stimulating potential of AETC
on macrophages was assessed by determining the levels of secreted cytokines. To determine the direct
antifungal activity, AETC or fluconazole was administered to C. albicans infected mice. The efficacy
of treatment was assessed by determining the survival rate, kidney fungal burden, the organ index and
liver inflammation parameters.
Results: Cyclophosphamide administration resulted in substantial depletion of leukocytes, whereas
AETC treatment induced the recovery of leukocytes in cyclophosphamide-injected mice. Moreover,
AETC treatment of macrophages resulted in enhanced secretion of IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-1β. C. albicans
infected mice treated with AETC at the doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg exhibited 40% and 60% survival
rate, whereas the mice treated with fluconazole at a dose of 50 mg/kg showed 20% survival rate.
Like survival data, the fungal load was found to be the lowest in the kidney tissues of mice treated with
AETC at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Interestingly, mice infected with C. albicans demonstrated improvement
in the organ indices and liver functioning after AETC treatment.
Conclusion: These results suggest that AETC may potentially be used to rejuvenate the weakened
immune system and eliminate systemic candidiasis in mice.