The maturation of dendritic cells into more-immunostimulatory dendritic cells by stimulation with different combinations of immunologic agents is expected to provide efficient, adoptive immunotherapy against cancer. Soluble β-glucan maitake D-fraction, extracted from the maitake mushroom Grifola frondosa, acts as a potent immunotherapeutic agent, eliciting innate and adoptive immune responses, thereby contributing to its antitumor activity. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of maitake D-fraction, in combination with a Toll-like receptor agonist, to treat tumors in a murine model. Our results showed that maitake D-fraction, in combination with the Toll-like receptor 9 agonist, cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotide, synergistically increased the expression of dendritic cell maturation markers and interleukin-12 production in dendritic cells, but it did not increase interleukin-10 production, generating strong effector dendritic cells with an augmented capacity for efficiently priming an antigen-specific, T helper 1-type T cell response. Maitake D-fraction enhances cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotide-induced dendritic cell maturation and cytokine responses in a dectin-1-dependent pathway. We further showed that a combination therapy using cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotide and maitake D-fraction was highly effective, either as adjuvants for dendritic cell vaccination or by direct administration against murine tumor. Therapeutic responses to direct administration were associated with increased CD11c(+) dendritic cells in the tumor site and the induction of interferon-γ-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Our results indicate that maitake D-fraction and cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotide synergistically activated dendritic cells, resulting in tumor regression via an antitumor T helper cell 1-type response. Our findings provide the basis for a potent antitumor therapy using a novel combination of immunologic agents for future clinical immunotherapy studies in patients.
Keywords: CpG ODN; dectin-1; immunotherapy; maitake.
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