Investigation of the Immunostimulatory Properties of Oxihumate

Gisela Käthe Jooné 1 , Johan Dekker 2  and Constance Elizabeth Jansen van Rensburg 1
  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Pretoria, PO Box 2034, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
  • 2 Enerkom (Pty) Ltd, Pretoria, South Africa

A unique process has been developed to convert bituminous coal by controlled wet oxidation followed by base treatment to a water-soluble humate called oxihumate. The effects of oxihumate on the proliferative response of lymphocytes has been studied in vitro and ex vivo. Oxihumate increased the proliferative response of phytohaemagglutinin-stimulated human lymphocytes, from a concentration of 20 μg/ml and upwards. This response was even more striking in the case of lymphocytes from HIV-infected patients and was not limited to the in vitro setting since similar effects were observed ex vivo following administration of a nontoxic dosage of 4 g oxihumate per day to HIV-positive individuals for two weeks. Mechanistic studies revealed that stimulation of the proliferative response of lymphocytes by oxihumate is associated with an increased production of IL-2, as well as expression of the IL-2 receptor in the setting of decreased production of IL-10. Oxihumate therefore holds promise for the treatment of immunocompromized patients.

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A Journal of Biosciences: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C (ZNC) is an international scientific journal for the emerging field of natural and natural-like products. ZNC publishes original research on the isolation, bio-chemical synthesis and bioactivities of natural products, their biochemistry, pharmacology, biotechnology, and biological activity and innovative developed computational methods for predicting their structure and/or function.