Proceedings Of The Japan Academy. Series B, Physical And Biological Sciences
The herb Ruta chalepensis L. exhibits medical effects, such as anti-inflammatory, central nervous system depressant, and antipyretic activities. However, a genetic transformation method has not yet been developed for this species. In this paper, a simple and efficient tissue culture and genetic transformation system for R. chalepensis is reported. An amyloid -peptide (A) gene, which is considered to be a causative agent of Alzheimer's disease (AD), fused with green-fluorescent protein (GFP), was introduced into R. chalepensis. When the leaves of R. chalepensis expressing A-GFP were administered orally to C57BL/6J mice, serum anti-A antibody titers of several mice were elevated without the use of an adjuvant. These results indicated that an oral vaccine against AD using R. chalepensis may be feasible. R. chalepensis is rich in bioactive compounds that may have synergistic effects with the vaccine for AD. Plant-derived vaccines are safer and cheaper than those produced from animal cells or microbes, because plants can serve as biofactories at low cost and with high biosynthetic capacity.