The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of Gingyo-san (GGS), a traditional Chinese medical formula, on peripheral lymphocyte proliferation and serum antibody titers in chickens vaccinated against the infectious bursal disease (IBD) virus. Treatment groups were fed one of three doses of GGS in their diet (0.5%, 1.0% and 2.0%, w/w), and the IBD vaccine was administered at 1 and 3 weeks of age. At Weeks 8, 12 and 16, changes in serum IBD antibody titers were measured via the micro-method and T cell proliferation. In gene expression experiments, GGS-treated peripheral T lymphocytes were stimulated with concanavalin A (ConA) for 24 h. The mRNA expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) was determined using a semi-quantitative RT-PCR assay. The results showed that a low dose of GGS could significantly raise the antibody titers. Medium and high doses of GGS enhanced IL-2 and IFN-γ production. GGS altered the expression of IL-4 and IL-12 in T lymphocytes. CD4+ T lymphocyte development was also skewed towards the Th1 phenotype. GGS enhanced cell-mediated immunity and augmented the effects of IBD vaccination in strengthening subsequent anti-viral responses
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