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Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Apr;5(4):795-803.

Combined immunomodulating effects of BCG and Lentinan after intranasal application in guinea pigs.

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Department of Immunomorphology, National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, 26, Yanko Sakazov Blvd., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria.


The ability of a Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) medical mushroom-derived bioactive polymer Lentinan (Ajinomoto, Japan) to modulate the immune response makes it a potential candidate for combination therapy with BCG, or as adjunct for BCG vaccination, especially in high-risk individuals. We studied the combined immune-potential effectiveness of intranasal application of Lentinan (at a dose of 1 mg/kg, three times at 2-day intervals), followed by administration of BCG (strain Sofia SL-222 at a dose of 1 x 10(8) CFU, once) in guinea pigs. Samples of broncho-alveolar lavage fluid, as well as tissue fragments of lungs, spleens and lymph nodes were obtained from four groups (combined treatment with Lentinan and BCG; only with Lentinan; only with BCG; control with saline) of animals at different intervals--1, 14 and 45 days after last treatment and were evaluated by several parameters (establishing the number, H2O2 and nitrite production, and killing ability against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus of alveolar macrophages; spleen index, BCG CFU in spleens and histomorphological observations). Our attention was focused both on local effects in lungs, and systematical effects in reticuloendothelial system. The results indicate that intranasal application of BCG alone, or in combination with Lentinan induced high level of alveolar macrophage activation. Pre-treatment with Lentinan enhanced the local immunohistological response to BCG in lung and reduced the generalized side effects.

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