Background: Ganoderma lucidum-derived polysaccharide (PS-G) can rapidly and effectively promote the activation and maturation of immature dendritic cells (DCs), suggesting that PS-G possesses the capacity to regulate immune responses. This study aimed to clarify the immunologic effect of PS-G on monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MD-DCs) from asthmatic children allergic to house dust mites. The MD-DCs were stimulated for 24 h with the related allergen, Der p 1, in the presence or absence of PS-G. Cell surface markers and phagocytic capacity were assessed by FACS analysis, and key polarizing cytokines (IL-12 p40, IL-12 p70, IL-6, IL-23, and IL-10) were quantified. The subsequent regulatory effect of pulsed MD-DCs on naïve T cells was evaluated by determining the T-cell cytokine profile.
Results: PS-G induced the maturation of MD-DCs and decreased phagocytic capacity, even if pulsed with Der p 1. After incubation with PS-G and Der p 1, MD-DCs produced higher amounts of IL-12 p70, IL-12 p40, IL-6, IL-23, and IL10 than Der p 1-pulsed DCs. Furthermore, type 1 helper T (Th1) cell cytokine (INF-γ) production was highly increased when naïve autologous T cells were co-cultured with Der p 1-pulsed MD-DCs. Naïve T cells stimulated by MD-DCs pulsed with Der p 1 failed to produce proliferation of T-cells, whereas the addition of PS-G to Der p 1 induced a significant proliferation of T-cells similar to that observed with PS-G alone.
Conclusion: The presence of PS-G in an allergen pulse promoted allergic MD-DCs to produce IL-12 p70, IL-12 p40, IL-6, IL-23, and IL-10, and exerted an effect on shifting the immune balance towards Th1 in children with allergic asthma.