The effects of Huachansu as an anti-cancer immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on natural killer cells

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The effects of Huachansu as an anti-cancer immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on natural killer cells


Author: Yeung, Nga-lai
Title: The effects of Huachansu as an anti-cancer immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on natural killer cells
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2011
Subject: Killer cells.
Natural immunity.
Medicine, Chinese.
Cancer -- Treatment.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xvii, 107 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Natural Killer (NK) cells are important effector cells in both innate and adaptive immunity systems. Human NK cells are heterogenous in nature and five subsets have been previously reported based on the expression of CD56 and CD16 surface molecules. The cytotoxic and immunoregulatory functions of NK cells are critical to protect the host from invading pathogens and cancer. To resolve the impairment of NK cell functions problem found in cancer patients, several potential immunotherapeutic approaches such as adopting activated NK cells for treating cancer have been attempted but as yet not successful due to various safety and technical problems. Huachansu is an anti-cancer Traditional Chinese Medicine currently used in clinical practice in oncology clinics in China. The immunomodulatory effects of Huachansu on NK cells have been reported but without clear indications of the possible mechanisms. We hypothesize that Huachansu may exert the immunomodulatory property through the mechanism of changing the relative proportion and quantity of various NK cell subsets. In this in vitro study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from seven healthy subjects were incubated with different Huachansu dilutions for 24 or 48 hours, NK subsets were identified by multicolor monoclonal antibody staining which was then subjected to flow cytometric analysis. Six NK subsets including a novel CD56 ͩ ͥ ͫ CD16 ͩ ͥ ͫ NK subpopulation were identified. At 1/20 Huachansu dilution, the percentage of the CD56 ͩ ͥ ͫ CD16 ͩ ͥ ͫ NK subset was 2.35 fold, and the absolute count of this particular subset was 2.9-fold higher than that of the untreated control (p<0.05). For the other two NK subsets of CD56 ᵇ ʳ ͥ ᵍ ʰ ᵗ CD16 ͩ ͥ ͫ and CD56 ͩ ͥ ͫ CD16 ⁿᵉᵍNK cells, there were 1.77-and 1.90-fold higher at 1/20 Huachansu dilutions. Similar increase of these NK subsets of 1.96- and 1.83-fold higher were found at 1/60 Huachansu dilution than those of the untreated control (p<0.05). These results support the hypothesis that Huachansu may enhance NK cytotoxicity by stimulating NK cells to mature from CD56 ᵇ ʳ ͥ ᵍ ʰ ᵗ CD16ⁿᵉᵍ to CD56 ͩ ͥ ͫ CD16 ᵇ ʳ ͥ ᵍ ʰ ᵗ phenotype and also induce the NK subsets to proliferate.

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