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Int J Biol Macromol. 2019 Jul 15;133:76-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.04.059. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Isolation, structure elucidation, and immunostimulatory activity of polysaccharide fractions from Boswellia carterii frankincense resin.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States of America.
2
Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States of America; Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States of America.
3
Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States of America.
4
Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States of America. Electronic address: paul.kline@mtsu.edu.

Abstract

Frankincense has a long history in religious, cultural, and medicinal use. In this study polysaccharides were extracted from frankincense from Boswellia carterii. The polysaccharides were purified by anion exchange chromatography on a DEAE-Sepharose Fast Flow 16/10 FPLC column. Six fractions were obtained and the three most active immunomodulatory fractions were further purified by size exclusion chromatography on a Superdex-200 column. The composition showed the monosaccharides present were predominantly galactose, arabinose, and glucuronic acid along with small amounts of rhamnose and glucose. The monosaccharide composition and glycosyl linkage analysis revealed the polysaccharides belong to the type II arabinogalactans. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and bicinchoninic acid assay showed that the amount of protein in the samples was <1 wt%. One-dimensional 1H NMR were consistent with high molecular weight compounds. The monosaccharides were primarily in the β conformation. The three fractions exhibited an immunostimulatory effect on RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells. The most active immunostimulatory fraction FA2, stimulated a range of pro-inflammatory mediators including iNOS, NO, TNF-α, and IL-6 in RAW 264.7 cells. The fractions were effective in proliferating primary murine splenocytes. The results indicate that the polysaccharides isolated from frankincense have the potential to be used as an immunological stimulant or nutraceutical.

KEYWORDS:

Arabinogalactan; Frankincense; Immunmodulation

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