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Keywords:

  • cytokine;
  • G-CSF;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • ‘Sho-saiko-to’;
  • TNF-α

Abstract

‘Sho-saiko-to’ (TJ-9) is a Japanese herbal medicine that is commonly administered to patients with chronic viral liver disease in order to improve their overall physical condition and to prevent the development of liver cancer. The present in vitro study demonstrated that, by adding TJ-9 to cell cultures, there were dose-dependent increases in production levels of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in peripheral mononuclear cells of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma accompanied by liver cirrhosis. Increases in the production of TNF-α and G-CSF in control cell cultures exposed to different herbal medicines were low, and this indicates the specificity of the responce increases in production of these cytokines to TJ-9. TNF-α and G-CSF are known to play important roles in the biological defence mechanism. Administration of TJ-9 may, therefore, be beneficial for patients afflicted with intractable liver diseases because it could mildly induce these cytokines.