School of Biological Sciences, Kadoorie Biological Sciences Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR.
OBJECTIVES: Lymphocyte homoeostasis is essential in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In search of natural fungal metabolites with effects on lymphocyte homoeostasis, we recently reported that polysaccharopeptide (PSP) from Coriolus versicolor exhibited ciclosporin-like activity in controlling aberrant lymphocyte activation. This object of this study was to investigate its effect on lymphocyte homoeostasis. This was done by investigating the mechanistic actions of PSP in relation to ciclosporin by performing cell cycle and cell death analysis of human lymphocytes in vitro.
METHODS: We investigated the effect of PSP in the presence and absence of ciclosporin on cell proliferation, cell cycle, cell death, immunophenotype and cell cycle regulatory proteins in human lymphocytes.
KEY FINDINGS: The data showed that PSP exhibited homoeostatic activity by promoting and inhibiting the proliferation of resting and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated lymphocytes, respectively. PHA-stimulated lymphocytes exhibited G0/G1 cell cycle arrest that was accompanied by a reduction of cyclin E expression with PSP treatment. Both PSP and ciclosporin blocked the reduction of the CD4/CD8 ratio in stimulated lymphocytes. PSP did not induce cell death in human lymphocytes, but the suppression of the Fasreceptor suggested a protective role of PSP against extrinsic cell death signals. These homoeostatic effects were more potent with combined PSP and ciclosporin treatment than with either fungal metabolite alone.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the results reveal certain novel effects of PSP in lymphocyte homoeostasis and suggest potential as a specific immunomodulatory adjuvant for clinical applications in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
PMID: 20663037 [PubMed – in process]