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PHYSIOLOGICAL AND IMMUNOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF BASIL IN VITRO AND IN VIVO
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In this research we observed the effects of basil on stress modulation and immune response in vertebrates in vitro and in vivo.
The in vitro study was done on mice spleen cell cultured with Holy basil and Thai basil to observe their proliferation stimulation to spleen cells and spleen T cell. The study was done in presence and absence of Concanavalin A (Con A)- a mitogen known as a T cell proliferation stimulator. A single cell suspension of mice spleen cells was incubated with four different dilutions of Holy and Thai basil (1:1, 1:5, 1:25, and 1:125). No significant differences have been found between control groups (cells without factor) and treatments suggesting the basils did not show any stimulation to spleen cell or spleen T cell proliferation.
The in vivo study was conducted with tilapia reared in aquaponics system to observe the stress modulating property of Holy basil. The physiological and immunological responses and growth performances of stressed and basil fed tilapia have been observed. There were four groups of fish- Control (unstressed) fish fed with commercial feed, Stressed fish fed with commercial feed, Control (unstressed) fish fed with basil-supplemented commercial feed, and Stressed fish fed with basil-supplemented commercial feed. The experiment was six weeks long. The parameters which have been recorded were- serum cortisol, packed cell volume, plasma protein, hepatosomatic index, spleen-somatic index, lysozyme activity, macrophage phagocytic capacity, length, weight, and condition factor. The results did not suggest any effects of basil on stress response. But the harmful effect of stress on fish growth and immune response was evident, as the stress groups showed significantly lower length, weight and condition factor.
The aquaponics system used in this study was also investigated for its production of the crops. Total fish production after eight weeks of placing the fingerlings in the aquaponics system were as follows- Control group: 6.00 g/L, Stressed group: 3.98 g/L. It suggests that stress can result in far less profit in aquaponics production.
Total plant production after 5 months is 6,521.10 g/sq. m (leaf with stem of marketable size) for Holy basil and 7219.73 g/sq. m for Thai Basil. This result suggests that basils are a viable crop in aquaponics and Thai basil would be more productive as the plant crop than Holy basil when grown on aquaponics.