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Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Aug;11(8):1103-8. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Modulation of phenotypic and functional maturation of murine dendritic cells (DCs) by purified Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide (ABP).

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  • 1Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, No. 92, North Second Road, Heping District, Shenyang, 110001, PR China.


There are a large number of interactions at molecular and cellular levels between the plant polysaccharides and immune system. Plant polysaccharides present an interesting effects as immunomodulators, particularly in the induction of the cells both in innate and adaptive immune systems. Activation of DCs could improve antitumoral responses usually diminished in cancer patients, and natural adjuvants provide a possibility of inducing this activation. ABP is a purified polysaccharide isolated from Achyranthes bidentata, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The aim of this study is to investigate modulation of phenotypic and functional maturation of murine DCs by ABP. Both phenotypic and functional activities were assessed with use of conventional scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) for the morphology of the DC, transmitted electron microscopy (TEM) for intracellular lysosomes inside the DC, cellular immunohistochemistry for phagocytosis by the DCs, flow cytometry (FCM) for the changes in key surface molecules, bio-assay for the activity of acidic phosphatases (ACP), and ELISA for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12. In fact, we found that purified ABP induced phenotypic maturation revealed by increased expression of CD86, CD40, and MHC II. Functional experiments showed the down-regulation of ACP inside DCs (which occurs when phagocytosis of DCs is decreased, and antigen presentation increased with maturation). Finally, ABP increased the production of IL-12. These data reveal that ABP promotes effective activation of murine DCs. This adjuvant-like activity may have therapeutic applications in clinical settings where immune responses need boosting. It is therefore concluded that ABP can exert positive modulation to murine DCs.

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