Response of human dendritic cells to different immunomodulatory polysaccharides derived from mushroom and barley

Wing Keung Chan, Ka Wai Helen Law, Zhi Bin Lin, Yu Lung Lau, Godfrey Chi Fung Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Polysaccharides derived from fungi and plants have been increasingly used as dietary supplement with therapeutic intention for cancer. However, whether these polysaccharides from different sources and structures can elicit similar immunological effects remain unknown. This study aims to investigate and compare the effects of selected groups of purified and crude polysaccharides on human dendritic cells (DCs), the most potent antigen-presenting cells. The selected polysaccharides were from Ganoderma lucidum [(GL) Lingzhi, Reishi], a medicinal mushroom commonly used by oriental; and barley glucan, a purified polysaccharide with known in vivo immunomodulating effect. We found that purified polysaccharides from GL mycelium could induce human PBMC proliferation and phenotypic and functional maturation of DCs with significant IL-12 and IL-10 production. Polysaccharides of GL spore and barley were both rather weak immunostimulator in vitro. In general, all these polysaccharides did not polarize T cells into either T1 or Th2 or regulatory T cells, except for crude spore polysaccharides-treated DCs which could suppress T cell proliferation with IL-10 production. This study revealed the polysaccharides of different sources have different immune potency and effect on human immune cells including DCs. Our study also provides a reproducible biological platform for comparing the potential therapeutic effects of different herbal-derived polysaccharides in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Barley
  • Ganoderma lucidum
  • Human dendritic cell
  • Immunomodulation
  • Polysaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this