Enhancement of cytotoxicity of NK cells by D-Fraction, a polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa
- Noriko Kodama
- Akihiro Asakawa
- Akio Inui
- Yuki Masuda
- Hiroaki Nanba
Published online on: March 1, 2005
In innate immunity, activated natural killer (NK) cells attack and damage pathogens such as bacteria and virus without restriction by the MHC antigen. NK cells activated by IL-12 have been reported to recognize and kill tumor cells in perforin-mediated apoptosis. We have reported that D-Fraction, a polysaccharide extracted from the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), activates macrophages, dendritic cells, and T cells and inhibits the growth of tumor cells. However, the effects of D-Fraction on NK cell function in the innate immune response are not well known. In the present study, we administered D-Fraction to MM-46 mammary tumor-bearing C3H/HeJ mice intraperitoneally for 3 consecutive days and investigated its effects on the activation and cytotoxicity of NK cells. D-Fraction significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity against NK-sensitive YAC-1 cells and the expression of CD223 on NK cells. D-Fraction also increased the expression of CD86 on macrophages. In addition, the levels of IL-12 in the culture supernatant of whole spleen cells and in serum increased, compared with the control corresponding to an increase in expression of IL-12 receptor βI on NK cells. These results suggest that D-Fraction enhances the cytotoxicity of NK cells through the production of IL-12 by macrophages activated by D-Fraction.