Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e66336. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066336. Print 2013.

The Immunosuppressant Protosappanin A Promotes Dendritic Cell-Mediated Expansion of Alloantigen-Specific Tregs and Prolongs Allograft Survival in Rats.

Author information

The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China ; Department of Cardiology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.


Protosappanin A (PrA), an immunosuppressive ingredient of the medicinal herb Caesalpinia sappan L, prolongs heart allograft survival in rats, possibly by impairing the function of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). We examined the effects of PrA on the maturation and function of dendritic cells (DCs), a potent class of APCs, and the downstream cell-cell and intracellular signaling pathways mediating the immunosuppressive activity of PrA. PrA inhibited LPS-stimulated maturation of Wistar rat DCs in vitro as reflected by reduced expression of costimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86) and reduced expression of TLR4 and NF-κB, two critical signaling components for antigen recognition. PrA also enhanced the release of IL-10 and decreased the release of IL-12 from DCs, but had no effect on the production of TGF-ß. In mixed cultures, Wistar DCs pretreated with PrA impaired the proliferation of Sprague Dawley (SD) rat T cells while promoting the expansion of SD rat CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). Both oral PrA treatment and infusion of PrA-pretreated Wistar DCs prolonged cardiac allograft survival (Wistar donor, SD recipient) and expanded recipient CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs. Donor spleen cells, but not spleen cells from a third rat strain (DA), supported the expansion of recipient CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs and suppressed recipient T cell proliferation. We conclude that PrA triggers a tolerogenic state in DCs that allows for the induction of alloantigen-specific Tregs and the suppression of allograft rejection in vivo.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center