In this study, the polysaccharides (PPs) from pomelo peels were investigated for their structural characteristics and antitumor mechanism on sarcoma S180-bearing mice. Components, FT-IR, and GC analysis showed that PPs, mainly composed of glucose, were typical acid polysaccharides with α-d-pyranoid glucose containing 74.52% carbohydrate and 16.33% uronic acid. The in vivo antitumor tests revealed that PPs could effectively suppress the transplanted S180 tumors growth, as well as protect the immune organs, improve proliferation ability of splenic lymphocytes and killing activity of NK cells in tumor-bearing mice. Furthermore, the levels of serum cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) and the proportion of CD4⁺ T cells in peripheral blood of mice bearing S180 tumors were also significantly increased after treatment with PPs. Meanwhile, the transplanted S180 tumor cells exhibited obvious apoptotic phenotype after PPs treatment by arresting the cell cycle in S phase, down-regulating the Bcl-2 expressions and up-regulating the Bax levels. These data showed that PPs were mainly composed of glucose with α-d-pyranoid ring and could induce apoptosis of solid tumor cells by enhancing the antitumor immunity of tumor-bearing mice, which would provide a theoretical basis for the practical application in food and medical industries.
Keywords: antitumor activity; immunoregulatory function; pomelo peels polysaccharides; structural characteristics.