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Macrophage activation and induction of macrophage cytotoxicity by purified polysaccharide fractions from the plant Echinacea purpurea

: Stimpel, M.; Proksch, A.; Lohmann-Matthes, M.-L.; Wagner, H.

Infection and Immunity 46 (1984), No.3, pp.845-849
ISSN: 0019-9567
ISSN: 1098-5522
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
cytotoxicity; Echinacea purpurea; macrophage; macrophage activation; Makrophage; Makrophagenaktivierung; polysaccharide; Zytotoxizität

Purified polysacharides (EPS) prepared from the plant Echinacea purpurea are shown to strongly activate macrophages. Macrophages activated with these substances develop pronounced extracellular cytotoxicity against tumor targets. The activation is brought about by EPS alone and is independent of any cooperative effect with lymphocytes. Also the production and secretion of oxygen radicals and interleukin 1 by macrophages is increased after activation with EPS. Cells of the macrophage lineage seem to be the main target for the action of this polysaccarides. EPS has no effect on T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes show a comparatively modest proliferation after incubation with E. purpurea EPS. Thus, these compounds, which are at least in tissue culture completely nontoxic, may be suited to activate in vivo cells of the macrophage system to cytotoxicity. They may therefore be of relevance in tumor and infectious systems.