The effects of Huachansu as an immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on human dendritic cells

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The effects of Huachansu as an immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on human dendritic cells


Author: Kwong, Wing-kwan Noel
Title: The effects of Huachansu as an immunomodulatory traditional Chinese medicine on human dendritic cells
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2012
Subject: Medicine, Chinese.
Dendritic cells.
Dendritic cells -- Immunology.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xx, 132 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: Huachansu (HCS) is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Recently, it is found to be capable of inducing an anti-tumor Th1cytokine environment. Dendritic cells (DCs) can be described as the conductor of the immune system which is responsible for directing the immune response towards a specific pathological condition. Up to date, there is no previous study that could illustrate clearly the role of dendritic cells in Huachansu anti-cancer treatment. In this project, the design of an in-vitro DC laboratory platform to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of HCS injection was described. The CD40 ligand (CD40L) treatment experiments revealed the importance of chronological sequence of adding testing constituents, which are HCS, LPS and CD40L respectively. This obligates the necessity of separating the pre- and post-treatment platforms to evaluate the clinical effects of HCS as cancer prevention and cancer treatment agent respectively. Preliminarily analysis with this new platform revealed that HCS pretreatment protocol reduces MDDC maturation, which could have potential beneficial significance to prevent cancer tolerance through spontaneous MDDC maturation. Moreover, it also promotes HLA-DR and CD80 expressions -- an effect more prominent on the immature DC subpopulations. Interestingly, all these effects were achieved at low dosage of HCS. Thus, it raises the possibility that HCS could be used at low dose as a health supplement to enhance our natural anti-cancer immunity through preventing the development of cancer tolerance and preparing the important professional antigen presenting cells of DCs to prime tumour-specific naive T cells and invoke effective anti-tumor immune response in case cancer eventually occurs. When HCS was used as a post-treatment protocol at higher dosage as in the HCS post-treatment protocol, it could lower production of the suppressive cytokine of IL-10. Reduced IL-10 profile may help to reduce the potential of the development of the undesirable cancer-related T helper 2 (Th2) microenvironment. It was also found to promote CD80 expression and thus increased the maturation of the DC population which in turn may lead to strengthening of T-cell cognation and ultimately better clinical outcomes. There are still limitations and insufficiencies of the new platform which warrant the necessities of further improvement and more laboratory studies to reach statistical significance.

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