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Immunol Lett. 2009 Mar 24;123(1):60-71. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Molecular events in the activation of B cells and macrophages by a non-microbial TLR4 agonist, G1-4A from Tinospora cordifolia.

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Radiation Biology & Health Sciences Division, Bio-Medical Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Modular Laboratories, Trombay, Mumbai 400085, India.


G1-4A, a polysaccharide from an Indian medicinal plant Tinospora cordifolia, was recently shown to protect mice against septic shock by modulating the proinflammatory cytokines. G1-4A also activated B cells polyclonally. The present report describes in detail the molecular events associated with G1-4A-induced immunomodulation in vitro and in vivo. G1-4A treatment led to an increase in the CD69 expression in lymphocytes. G1-4A-induced proliferation of B cells was completely inhibited by PI3K inhibitor Ly294002, mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and NF-kappaB inhibitor plumbagin. Akt, ERK and JNK were activated by G1-4A which finally resulted in the activation of IKK, degradation of IkappaB-alpha and translocation of NF-kappaB to the nucleus. Administration of G1-4A to mice led to splenomegaly and an increase in the numbers of T cells, B cells and macrophages. This increase in spleen cellularity was due to in vivo proliferation of lymphocytes and upregulation of anti-apoptotic genes. Anti-TLR4-MD2 complex antibody inhibited G1-4A-induced B cell proliferation and degradation of IkappaB-alpha suggesting that TLR-4 was a receptor for G1-4A on B cells. Activation of RAW 264.7 macrophages by G1-4A was found to be dependent on ERK and NF-kappaB-mediated signals. The phagocytosis index in peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) isolated from G1-4A treated mice was significantly higher as compared to that in PEC from control mice. G1-4A administration also increased the number of CD11b(+) cells in the PEC without an increase in the total number of PEC. Thus the present understanding of the molecular mechanism of action of G1-4A, a novel non-microbial TLR4 agonist, will pave the way for its application as an immunomodulator and adjuvant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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