Polysaccharopeptide mimics ciclosporin-mediated Th1/Th2 cytokine balance for suppression of activated human T cell proliferation by MAPKp38 and STAT5 pathways.

Lee CL, Sit WH, Jiang PP, So IW, Wan JM.

School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, SAR, China.


The activation of T helper (Th) cell subsets plays an important role in the human immune system. Uncontrolled Th1 and Th2 responses lead to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, respectively. The identification of agents that modulate the Th1/Th2 cytokines is therefore essential for controlling these diseases. We recently reported that polysaccharopeptide (PSP) from Coriolus versicolor exhibited ciclosporin-like activities to control aberrant T lymphocyte activation. Here, we compared the properties of PSP with ciclosporin on cell proliferation, CD25+ expression, secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)p38 and signal transducers and activators of transcription 5 (STAT5) on T cells. The data show that PSP alone suppresses the proliferation of activated T cells. PSP exhibited similar and additive inhibitory effects to ciclosporin to suppress activated T cell proliferation, Th1 cytokines and reduce CD3+/CD25+ cell expression, but not Th2 cytokine expression, which helps the cytokine balance shift towards Th2 dominance. These suppressive actions of PSP involved the MAPKp38 and STAT5 pathways. These findings refine our understanding of the effects of PSP on T lymphocytes and its adjuvant properties with the immunosuppressant ciclosporin for possible control of autoimmune diseases.

PMID: 18957170 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]