Aims: To develop a method for the preparation of an immunologically active, homogeneous, nonaggregated, microparticulate beta-glucan-containing material from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Methods and results: Using a combination of sonication and spray-drying, a homogeneous preparation of 1-2-mu diameter beta-glucan-containing particles was made from alkali- and acid-insoluble yeast cell wall material. This microparticulate beta-glucan remained in suspension longer and, following oral administration at 0.1 mg kg(-1) for 14 d, enhanced phagocytosis of mouse peritoneal macrophages significantly better than did aggregated beta-glucan particles.
Conclusions: A new sonication and spray-drying method can be employed to overcome the problem of aggregation of beta-glucan microparticles in aqueous media.
Significance and impact of the study: A microparticulate form of beta-glucan that remains in suspension longer for pharmaceutical applications and has superior immune potentiation characteristics has been developed.