Fractionation and characterization of biologically-active polysaccharides from Artemisia tripartita

Gang Xie, Igor A. Schepetkin, Daniel W. Siemsen, Liliya N. Kirpotina, James A. Wiley, Mark T. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The leaves of Artemisia species have been traditionally used for prevention and treatment of a number of diseases. In this study, five polysaccharide fractions (designated A-I-A-V) were isolated from the leaves of Artemisia tripartita Rydb. by the sequential use of hot-water extraction, ethanol precipitation, ultra-filtration, and chromatography. The homogeneity and average molecular weight of each fraction were determined by high performance size-exclusion chromatography. Sugar composition analysis revealed that Artemisia polysaccharides consisted primarily of xylose, glucose, arabinose, galactose, and galactosamine. Moreover, all fractions contained at least 3.4% sulfate, and fractions A-II-A-V contained an arabinogalactan type II structure. All fractions exhibited macrophage-activating activity, enhancing production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and release of nitric oxide, interleukin 6, interleukin 10, tumor necrosis factor α, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1. In addition, all fractions exhibited scavenging activity for reactive oxygen species generated enzymatically or produced extracellularly by human neutrophils. Finally, fractions A-I and A-V exhibited complement-fixing activity. Taken together, our results provide a molecular basis to explain at least part of the beneficial therapeutic effects of Artemisia extracts, and suggest the possibility of using Artemisia polysaccharides as an immunotherapeutic adjuvant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1371
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Artemisia tripartita Rydb
  • Asteraceae
  • Complement-fixing activity
  • Cytokines
  • Immunomodulator
  • Macrophage
  • Neutrophil
  • Polysaccharide
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery

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