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Immunopotentiation on murine spleen lymphocytes induced by polysaccharide fraction of Panax ginseng via upregulating calcineurin activity

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Zhang S-D, Yin Y-X, Wei Q. Immunopotentiation on murine spleen lymphocytes induced by polysaccharide fraction of Panax ginseng via upregulating calcineurin activity. APMIS 2010; 118: 288–96.

Calcineurin (CN), a unique Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase, plays a pivotal role in the activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes. Based on the effective molecular screening model established in our laboratory, we found that a part of polysaccharides from the stem and leaves of Panax ginseng, termed PGP-SL, could activate CN activity. Subsequently, we investigated whether PGP-SL also has immunological competence on murine spleen lymphocytes. In the present study, we demonstrated that PGP-SL could significantly promote in vitro spleen lymphocyte proliferation in the absence of either concanavalin A or LPS in a concentration-dependent manner at concentrations ranging from 100 to 500 μg/ml (p < 0.001). In addition, the proliferation of cyclosporin A (CsA)-treated spleen lymphocytes was also significantly promoted in the same pattern (p < 0.001); the production of IL-2 was elevated and the effect appeared as early as 24 h after PGP-SL treatment. The results of RT-PCR also indicated that the IL-2 mRNA level was markedly enhanced, particularly at PGP-SL concentrations of 300 and 500 μg/ml, and Fura-2/AM fluorescence probe analysis showed that PGP-SL could dramatically increase the intracellular free calcium concentration of spleen lymphocytes, i.e. [Ca2+]i was significantly increased by approximately 181 and 107% at 300 and 500 μg/ml of PGP-SL, respectively. However, this effect could be totally inhibited by verapamil treatment. Taking our results together, we suggest that PGP-SL exhibits immunopotentiation effects on murine spleen lymphocytes by the Ca2+–CN–NFAT–IL-2 signaling pathway.
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Keywords: Calcineurin; interleukin-2; intracellular calcium; lymphocyte proliferation; polysaccharides

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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