Botanical polysaccharides: Macrophage immunomodulation and therapeutic potential

Igor A. Schepetkin, Mark T. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

831 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Botanical polysaccharides exhibit a number of beneficial therapeutic properties, and it is thought that the mechanisms involved in these effects are due to the modulation of innate immunity and, more specifically, macrophage function. In this review, we summarize our current state of understanding of the macrophage modulatory effects of botanical polysaccharides isolated from a wide array of different species of flora, including higher plants, mushrooms, lichens and algae. Overall, the primary effect of botanical polysaccharides is to enhance and/or activate macrophage immune responses, leading to immunomodulation, anti-tumor activity, wound-healing and other therapeutic effects. Furthermore, botanical and microbial polysaccharides bind to common surface receptors and induce similar immunomodulatory responses in macrophages, suggesting that evolutionarily conserved polysaccharide structural features are shared between these organisms. Thus, the evaluation of botanical polysaccharides provides a unique opportunity for the discovery of novel therapeutic agents and adjuvants that exhibit beneficial immunomodulatory properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Host defense
  • Immunomodulator
  • Innate immunity
  • Macrophage
  • Polysaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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