Articles

Macrophage activation by the polysaccharide arabinogalactan isolated from plant cell cultures of Echinacea purpurea.

Author

Luettig B, Steinmuller C, Gifford GE

Date

3/5/1998

Journal

J Natl Cancer Inst

Abstract

In this study, acidic arabinogalactan, a highly purified polysaccharide from plant cell cultures of Echinacea purpurea, with a molecular weight of 75,000, was effective in activating macrophages to cytotoxicity against tumor cells and micro-organisms (Leishmania enriettii). Furthermore, this polysaccharide induced macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interferon-beta 2. Arabinogalactan did not activate B cells and did not induce T cells to produce interleukin-2, interferon-beta 2, or interferon-gamma, but it did induce a slight increase in T-cell proliferation. When injected ip, this agent stimulated macrophages, a finding that may have therapeutic implications in the defense against tumors and infectious diseases.