Shigesue K, Kodama N, Nanba H
We recently reported the anti-hepatitis effect of a polysaccharide, designated as the D-fraction, extracted from maitake. Its effect includes immuno-regulating activities. We investigated the effect of the glucan in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). The D-fraction was administered to CIA mice for 30 consecutive days. Arthritis development was observed from the 4th day after the second immunization. The D-fraction did not have any influence on anti-type II collagen antibodies in blood serum or activated B cells. To determine how cellular immunity may be involved in the development of CIA, ratios of CD4+ T cells and their activated form in the axillary and inguinal lymph node T cells were detected by flow cytometry analysis. The ratios were not different between the D-fraction group and the control group. However, interleukin-1beta, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and tumor necrosis factor-alpha productions from splenic macrophages were significantly increased to 2.0, 4.7 and 1.9 times the control group level, respectively. The ratio of macrophages in the whole spleen cells was 2.3 times that of the control group, and their migrating ability was 1.9 times higher. Based on these results, we concluded that the arthritis development induced by D-fraction administration is attributable to the activation of splenic macrophages.