Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Platycodon grandiflorum polysaccharide induces dendritic cell maturation via TLR4 signaling.

PMID 25019244


Dendritic cell (DC) maturation is critical for initiation of the adoptive immune response. DC maturation is often attenuated in several pathological conditions including cancer. In this study, we report the effect of Platycodon grandiflorum polysaccharide (PG) on DC maturation. PG induced phenotypic maturation of DCs, as proved by the increase in the expression of CD40, CD80, CD86, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I/II on the cell surface. PG also induced functional maturation of DCs, as proved by elevated production of interleukin (IL)-12, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and interferon-β, and by enhanced allogeneic T cell stimulation ability of PG-treated DCs. PG efficiently induced maturation of DCs from C3H/HeN mice, which have normal Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), but not that of DCs from C3H/HeJ mice, which have mutated TLR4, suggesting that TLR4 might be one of the PG receptors in DCs. In line with TLR4 activation, PG increased the phosphorylation of ERK, p38, and JNK, and the nuclear translocation of p-c-Jun, p-CREB, and c-Fos. PG also activated NF-κB signaling, as evidenced by degradation of IκBα/β and nuclear translocation of p65 and p50. In summary, our data suggest that PG induces DC maturation by activating MAPK and NF-κB signaling downstream of TLR4.