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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2007;45(2):107-14.

Oral beta-glucan adjuvant therapy converts nonprotective Th2 response to protective Th1 cell-mediated immune response in mammary tumor-bearing mice.

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Tumor Immunobiology Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, KY, USA.


Beta (1-3)-D-glucans were identified almost 40 years ago as biological response modifiers that stimulated tumor rejection. In vitro studies have shown that beta-glucans bind to a lectin domain within complement receptor type 3 (CR3), or to, more recently described dectin-1 a beta-glucan specific receptor, acting mainly on phagocytic cells. In this study, we assessed the intracellular cytokine profiles of peripheral blood lymphocytes from mice bearing mammary tumors receiving i.v. anti-tumor mAbs combined or not with whole glucan particle suspension given orally (WGP, 400 microg every 24 hours). The proportions of T cells producing IL-4 and IFNgamma were determined by flow cytometry. The proportion of T cells producing IL-4 was significantly higher in tumor-bearing mice not receiving beta-glucan-enhanced therapy. Conversely, T cells from mice undergoing beta-glucan-enhanced therapy showed increased production of the Th1 cytokine IFNgamma. The switch from a Th2 to a Th1 response after WGP therapy was possibly mediated by intestinal mucosal macrophages releasing IL-12.

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