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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (2): 166-170.doi: 10.3736/jcim20080212

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Immunomodulatory effects of Astragalus polysaccharide in diabetic mice

Ru-jiang Li1, Shu-dong Qiu1(), Hong-xia Chen2, Li-rong Wang1   

  1. 1. Reproduction Centre, Medical School, Xian Jiao Tong University, Xian, Shannxi Province 710061, China
    2. Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100850, China
  • Received:2007-04-17 Online:2008-02-20 Published:2008-02-15
  • Contact: QIU Shu-dong

Objective:To study the immunomodulatory effects of Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) in type 1 diabetic mice.

Methods:A mouse model of type 1 diabetes mellitus was established by intraperitoneal injection of multiple low dose streptozotocin (MLD-STZ). The diabetic mice were intraperitoneally administered 100, 200, 400 mg/kg APS or 1 ml normal saline (NS) every day respectively, then the diabetic mice were sacrificed after 15 or 30 days of treatment. The effect of APS on insulitis was determined via pancreatic histological analysis. Serum insulin autoantibody (IAA) levels were measured by radio-immunoassay (RIA). Proliferation ability of splenocytes to concanavalin A was tested by using [ 3H] thymidine incorporation assay. The levels of cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) secreted by splenocytes were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method, and the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in spleens was characterized using Western-blot analysis.

Results:Attenuated insulitis, down-regulation of the serum IAA levels and Th1/Th2 cytokine ratio, decrease of the proliferation ability of splenocytes to concanavalin A, and up-regulation of the PPARγ levels in spleens showed a significant time- and dose-dependent response to APS treatment as compared with the NS-treated group.

Conclusion:APS possesses immunotherapeutic effects on mice with type 1 diabetes mellitus through improving the cell- and humoral-mediated immunity.

Key words: Astragalus, diabetes mellitus, typel, immunomodulators, mice

CLC Number: 

  • R587.1

Table 1

Effect of APS on IAA in diabetic mice after 15 or 30 days of treatment ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n IAA level at day 15 IAA level at day 30
Normal control 10 1 207.7±99.6 1 238.5±118.1
NS-treated 10 1 798.7±98.2** 1 813.2±101.9**
Low-dose APS-treated 10 1 718.1±149.9** 1 559.5±112.1△△**
Medium-dose APS-treated 10 1 682.6±94.7** 1 485.8±119.3△△**
High-dose APS-treated 10 1 679.8±156.1** 1 355.7±131.0△△*

Figure 1

Pancreata immuno-labled for insulin and counterstained for lymphocytic infiltration in pancreas islets after 30 days of APS treatment (DAB staining and hematoxylin counterstaining, ×200) A: Normal control group; B: Untreated group; C: Low-dose APS-treated group; D: Medium-dose APS-treated group; E: High-dose APS-treated group."

Table 2

Proliferation ability of splenocytes treated with Con A after 15 or 30 days of administration of APS ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n CPM at day 15 CPM at day 30
Normal control 5 9 427.5±1 613.6 8 936.4±2 036.4
NS-treated 5 15 950.1±2 262.2** 19 729.6±2 345.8**
Low-dose APS-treated 5 14 410.0±2 781.8** 13 417.2±2 919.1**
Medium-dose APS-treated 5 14 111.4±2 327.3** 12 994.5±2 849.4**
High-dose APS-treated 5 13 999.8±2 636.9** 12 008.1±2 970.4**

Table 3

Effect of APS on productions of IL-4, IFN-γ and IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio of diabetic splenocytes induced by Con A ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n 15 days of treatment 30 days of treatment
IL-4 (ng/L) IFN-γ (ng/L) IFN-γ/IL-4 IL-4 (ng/L) IFN-γ (ng/L) IFN-γ/IL-4
Normal control 5 241±6 227±18 0.94±0.06 238±21 243±20 1.02±0.06
NS-treated 5 181±52** 303±45** 1.71±0.11** 156±37** 308±37** 2.05±0.45**
Low-dose APS-treated 5 189±31* 281±44** 1.90±0.09** 167±31** 277±41 1.71±0.33**
Medium-dose APS-treated 5 191±41* 284±38** 1.52±0.08** 205±52 265±38 1.34±0.29△△
High-dose APS-treated 5 192±31* 285±51** 1.49±0.09** 222±45△△ 255±29△△ 1.17±0.14△△

Figure 2

Western blot analysis of PPARγ protein expression in spleens of diabetic mice after 30 days of APS treatment1: Normal control group; 2: Untreated group; 3: Low-dose APS-treated group; 4: Medium-dose APS-treated group; 5: High-dose APS-treated group."

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