A plant lectin derived from Viscum album induces cytokine gene expression and protein production in cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

K. Hostanska, T. Hajto, G. C. Spagnoli, J. Fischer, H. Lentzen, R. Herrman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A plant lectin from Viscum album (ML-I) has been shown to increase the number and cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells and to induce antitumor activity in animal models. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of ML-I on natural host defenses are unknown. After 24h incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the presence of 10 and 1 ng/ml of ML-I, mRNA expression and secretion of a panel of cytokines were evaluated by reverse polymerase chain reaction and by ELISA, respectively. The lectin induced expression of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor and IL-10 genes but no expression of IL-2 and IL-5 genes could be detected. Regarding cytokine secretion, IL-6 and TNF-α production was induced by 10 ng/ml ML-I. On the other hand, IL-10 secretion was only stimulated by 1 ng/ml lectin. No production of IFN-γ or, as expectable, IL-2 could be detected. In addition, ML-I increased the percentage of HLA-DR+ T lymphocytes in vitro. In tests performed on whole blood, monocytes and granulocytes bound the fluorescence-conjugated ML-I stimulation of nonadherent cells. These results suggest that lectin-sugar interactions on the cell surface of immunocompetent cells can induce cytokine gene expression and protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalNatural Immunity
Volume14
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1995

Keywords

  • HLA-DR
  • Inteerferon-γ
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lectin
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α
  • Viscum album

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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