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Biomark Insights. 2011 Feb 28;6:27-38. doi: 10.4137/BMI.S6441.

Uncarinic Acid C Isolated from Uncaria rhynchophylla Induces Differentiation of Th1-Promoting Dendritic Cells Through TLR4 Signaling.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangiu.


Uncarinic acid C (URC) is triterpene isolated from Uncaria rhynchophylla and is a pharmacologically active substance. The induction of dendritic cells (DC) is critical for the induction of Ag-specific T lymphocyte responses and may be essential for the development of human vaccines relying on T cell immunity. DC might be a potential target for URC. We demonstrate that URC activates human DC as documented by phenotypic and functional maturation, and altered cytokine production. The expression of CD1a, CD38, CD40, CD54, CD80, CD83, CD86, HLA-DR and CCR7 on URC-primed DC was enhanced. The production of IL-12p70 by URC-primed DC was higher than that of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-primed DC. The production of IL-12p70 by URC-primed DC was inhibited by the anti-Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) monoclonal antibody (mAb), but partially abolished by anti-TLR2 mAb. mRNA coding for TLR2 and TLR4 was expressed in URC-primed DC. URC-primed DC induced the NF-κB transcription factor. Naïve T cells co-cultured with URC-primed DC turned into typical Th1 cells that produced large quantities of IFN-γ depending on IL-12 secretion. URC enhanced the T cell stimulatory capacity in an allo MLR. In the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte assay (CTL) assay, DNA fragmentation assay and (51)Cr release on URC-primed DC were more augmented than that of TNF-α-primed DC. DC matured with URC had an intermediate migratory capacity towards CCL19 and CCL21. These results suggest that URC modulates DC function in a fashion that favors Th1 polarization via the activation of IL-12p70 dependent on TLR4 signaling, and may be used on DC-based vaccine for cancer immunotherapy.


CTL; Dendritic cells; Th1; Uncarinic acid C

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