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Isolation of Three High Molecular Weight Polysaccharide Preparations with Potent Immunostimulatory Activity from Spirulina platensis, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Chlorella pyrenoidosa

Planta Med 67 (2001) 737-742

Author(s): Nirmal Pugh, Samir A. Ross, Hala N. Elsohly, Mahmoun A. ElSohly, David S. Pasco

ABSTRACT

This research describes the identification of three new high molecular weight polysaccharide preparations isolated from food-grade micro algae that are potent activators of human monocytes/macrophages: "immuline" from Spirulina platensis "Immunon" from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae; and "Immurella" from Chlorella pyrenoidosa. These polysaccharides are structurally complex and have estimated molecular weights above ten million Daltons. All three polysaccharides are highly water soluble and comprise between 0.5% and 2.0% of micro algal dry weight. Immunostimulatory activity was measured using transcription factor-based bioassay for nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation in THP-1 human monocytes/macrophages. Using this system the EC50 values for these micro algal polysaccharides are between 20 and 110 ng/ml (about 10pM). THP-1 activation was confirmed by measuring immune cytokine mRNA induction using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Each polysaccharide substantially increased mRNA levels of interleukin and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a). The polysaccharides are between one hundred and one thousand times more active for in vitro monocyte activation than polysaccharides preparation that are currently used clinically for cancer immunotherapy.

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