β-glucans, a group of polysaccharides exist in many organism species such as mushrooms, yeasts, oats, barley, seaweed, but not mammalians, have a variety of biological activities and applications in drugs and other healthcare products. In recent years, β-glucans have been studied as adjuvants in anti-infection vaccines as well as immunomodulators in anti-cancer immunotherapy. β-glucans can regulate immune responses when administered alone and can connect innate and adaptive immunity to improve immunogenicity of vaccines. When β-glucans act as immunostimulants or adjuvants, a set of receptors have been revealed to recognize β-glucans, including dectin-1, complement receptor 3 (CR3), CD5, lactosylceramide, and so on. Therefore, this review is mainly focused on the application of β-glucans as immune adjuvants, the receptors of β-glucans, as well as their structure and activity relationship which will benefit future research of β-glucans.
Keywords: Adjuvant; Anti-infection; Anti-tumor; Receptor; Structure and activity relationship; Vaccine; β-glucan.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.