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Uncovering potential “herbal probiotics” in Juzen-taiho-to through the study of associated bacterial populations

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Uncovering potential “herbal probiotics” in Juzen-taiho-to through the study of associated bacterial populations

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Abstract

Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) is an immune-boosting formulation of ten medicinal herbs. It is used clinically in East Asia to boost the human immune functions. The active factors in JTT have not been clarified. But, existing evidence suggests that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-like factors contribute to the activity. To examine this possibility, JTT was subjected to a series of analyses, including high resolution mass spectrometry, which suggested the presence of structural variants of LPS. This finding opened a possibility that JTT contains immune-boosting bacteria. As the first step to characterize the bacteria in JTT, 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing was carried out for Angelica sinensis (dried root), one of the most potent immunostimulatory herbs in JTT. The sequencing revealed a total of 519 bacteria genera in A. sinensis. The most abundant genus was Rahnella, which is widely distributed in water and plants. The abundance of Rahnella appeared to correlate with the immunostimulatory activity of A. sinensis. In conclusion, the current study provided new pieces of evidence supporting the emerging theory of bacterial contribution in immune-boosting herbs.

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... Interestingly, recent studies propose the new concept that glycolipid factors derived from bacteria colonizing medicinal plants contribute to the immune-boosting activities. 27,28 In fact, plant-colonizing microorganisms such as Rahnella species have been linked to the immunostimulatory effects of Angelicae Radix, a central ingredient of TSS. 28 In this context, the molecular interaction of bacteria-derived glycolipid components in TSS with iNKT cells could be a compelling target for future investigation. ...
... 27,28 In fact, plant-colonizing microorganisms such as Rahnella species have been linked to the immunostimulatory effects of Angelicae Radix, a central ingredient of TSS. 28 In this context, the molecular interaction of bacteria-derived glycolipid components in TSS with iNKT cells could be a compelling target for future investigation. ...
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The cover image, by Takeshi Nagamatsu et al., is based on the Original Article Tokishakuyaku‐san, a Japanese herbal medicine mitigates iNKT cell mediated pregnancy loss in mice, DOI: 10.1111/aji.13021.
... However, few studies have examined the potential link between plant-associated microbes and therapeutic effects of medicinal plants. To our knowledge, the current study is the first to examine the correlation between the plant-associated microbes and the immunomodulatory activity of A. sinensis, which is a key herbal component in JTT [6]. Admittedly, the sample size of the current study is small, which underscores the importance of further studies to verify our findings. ...
... Medicines 2019, 6, 62 ...
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Background: Angelica sinensis is a medicinal plant known for a variety of biological effects, including its ability to stimulate innate immune cells in humans. Recent studies indicate that the immunostimulatory activity of A. sinensis arises from microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) of plant-associated bacteria. However, it is unknown which bacterial taxa in A. sinensis are responsible for the production of immunostimulatory MAMPs. Methods: Samples of A. sinensis were subjected to a cell-based assay to detect monocyte-stimulation and 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing, which revealed their immunostimulatory activity and microbial communities. The resulting data were analyzed by Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe), an online biostatistical tool for metagenomic biomarker discovery, to identify the bacterial taxonomical features correlated with the immunostimulatory activity. Results: A series of bacterial taxa under Gammaproteobacteria correlated positively with the immunostimulatory activity, whereas several Gram-positive taxa and Betaproteobacteria correlated negatively with the activity. Conclusions: The identified bacterial taxa set a new stage to characterize immunostimulatory MAMPs in plants.
... Although no significant intergroup differences were observed, some of our results suggest that HFD might lead to an impairment of the phagocytic activity, and the results with LPSp treatment seemed to show a trend towards recovery of this activity. The herbal medicine Juzen-taiho-to, which contains LPS as the major active compound [51], was shown to reduce brain Aβ burden by oral treatment in a mouse model of AD, and to enhance in vitro Aβ 1-42 phagocytosis [52]. Some in vivo studies reported that the ratio of absorption into blood after oral administration of radiolabeled E.coli LPS was estimated to be ca. ...
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The pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains unclear, but an imbalance between the production and clearance of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides is known to play a critical role in AD progression. A promising preventative approach is to enhance the normal Aβ clearance activity of brain phagocytes such as microglia. In mice, the intraperitoneal injection of Toll-like receptor 4 agonist was shown to enhance Aβ clearance and exhibit a preventative effect on AD-related pathology. Our previous clinical study demonstrated that orally administered Pantoea agglomerans-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPSp) exhibited an LDL (low-density lipoprotein)-lowering effect in human volunteers with hyperlipidemia, a known risk factor for AD. In vitro studies have shown that LPSp treatment increases Aβ phagocytosis by microglial cells; however it is still unclear whether orally administered LPSp exhibits a preventive effect on AD progression. We show here that in senescence-accelerated prone 8 (SAMP8) mice fed a high-fat diet, oral administration of LPSp at 0.3 or 1 mg/kg body weight·day for 18 weeks significantly improved glucose metabolism and lipid profiles. The LPSp treatment also reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and oxidative-burst activity in the peripheral blood. Moreover, LPSp significantly reduced brain Aβ burden and memory impairment as seen in the water maze test, although we could not confirm a significant enhancement of Aβ phagocytosis in microglia isolated from the brains after treatment. Taken together, our results show that LPSp holds promise as a preventative therapy for AD or AD-related diseases induced by impairment of metabolic functions.
... Endophytic bacteria contributed to the in vitro pro-inflammatory effects of E. purpurea crude extracts 4 and to the immunostimulatory activity of Angelica sinensis, one of the most potent herbs in the traditional East Asian formula Juzen-taiho-to. 5 While plants are important as a source of immunestimulating preparations, mushrooms also have a long history of medicinal use for enhancing immune function. This is sup-ported by studies that indicate that dietary ingestion of mushrooms or their extracts stimulates immune cells. ...
Article
Recent studies have indicated that a major contributor to the innate immune enhancing properties of some medicinal plants is derived from the cell wall components of bacteria colonizing these plants. The purpose of the current study was to assess if the bacteria present within edible and medicinal mushrooms substantially contribute to the innate immune stimulating potential of these mushrooms. Whole mushrooms from thirteen types of edible fungi and individual parts from Agaricus bisporus were analyzed for in vitro macrophage activation as well as bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) content, cell load, and community composition. Substantial variation between samples was observed in macrophage activation (over 500-fold), total bacterial load (over 200-fold), and LPS content (over 10 million-fold). Both LPS content (ρ = 0.832, p < 0.0001) and total bacterial load (ρ = 0.701, p < 0.0001) correlated significantly with macrophage activation in the whole mushroom extracts. Extract activity was negated by treatment with NaOH, conditions that inactivate LPS and other bacterial components. Significant correlations between macrophage activation and total bacterial load (ρ = 0.723, p = 0.0001) and LPS content (ρ = 0.951, p < 0.0001) were also observed between different tissues of Agaricus bisporus. Pseudomonas and Flavobacterium were the most prevalent genera identified in the different tissue parts and these taxa were significantly correlated with in vitro macrophage activation (ρ = 0.697, p < 0.0001 and ρ = 0.659, p = 0.0001, respectively). These results indicate that components derived from mushroom associated bacteria contribute substantially to the innate immune enhancing activity exhibited by mushrooms and may result in similar therapeutic actions as reported for ingestion of bacterial preparations such as probiotics.
... However, while vegetable leaves are well populated with bacteria including potential probiotic acting Lactobacillus strains [34][35][36][37], so far, plant-derived produce has only been considered as vehicles of probiotic cultures [38,39]. A detailed understanding of how probiotic bacteria colonize leafy vegetables or herbs would enable future approaches to enrich these tissues with the respective bacterial strains to elevate vegetable leaves beyond their basic nutritional values. ...
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The plant phyllosphere is colonized by a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. Leaves of raw eaten vegetables and herbs are habitats for bacteria important not only to the host plant, but also to human health when ingested via meals. The aim of the current study was to determine the presence of putative probiotic bacteria in the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce. Quantification of bifidobacteria showed that leaves of Lepidium sativum L., Cichorium endivia L., and Thymus vulgaris L. harbor between 103 and 106 DNA copies per gram fresh weight. Total cultivable bacteria in the phyllosphere of those three plant species ranged from 105 to 108 CFU per gram fresh weight. Specific enrichment of probiotic lactic acid bacteria from C. endivia, T. vulgaris, Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Coriandrum sativum L., and Petroselinum crispum L. led to the isolation of 155 bacterial strains, which were identified as Pediococcus pentosaceus, Enterococcus faecium, and Bacillus species, based on their intact protein pattern. A comprehensive community analysis of the L. sativum leaves by PhyloChip hybridization revealed the presence of genera Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus. Our results demonstrate that the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce has to be considered as a substantial source of probiotic bacteria and point to the development of vegetables and herbs with added probiotic value.
... LPS is a well-known endotoxin that acts on blood monocytes to induce inflammation (6). LPS is also ubiquitous in the environment and is found in edible plants used as health foods and in traditional Chinese medicine (7,8). It is now clear that LPS is not only associated with no oral percutaneous adverse events, but also induces various beneficial physiological effects, which include natural suppression of the allergic response (9)(10)(11). ...
Article
BACKGROUND/AIM: Recently, the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) has increased in developed countries. This study aimed to examine the usefulness of a moisturizing cream containing lipopolysaccharide derived from Pantoea agglomerans (LPSp) in patients with mild AD. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A moisturizing cream containing LPSp or its placebo was randomly assigned and continuously used for 4 weeks in patients with mild AD. AD severity was evaluated in a double-blind manner by a dermatologist using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score and by the patients' self-evaluation of itching and skin condition using a visual analog scale (VAS). RESULTS: Although there was no difference in the EASI score between the two groups, the VAS scores showed significantly greater symptom alleviation in the LPSp group than in the placebo group. CONCLUSION: A moisturizing cream containing LPSp may be effective for routine skin care and could help alleviate symptoms of mild AD. Copyright© 2019, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.
... The mean in vitro activity exhibited by the E. purpurea extracts can be accounted for by the activities and prevalence of Proteobacteria alone, substantiating that components from Proteobacteria are responsible for the in vitro macrophage activation exhibited by extracts of E. purpurea aerial material. A similar finding was recently reported by Montenegro et al. [8] who found Proteobacteria of the genus Rahnella was the most abundant taxa in the root material from Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels (Apiaceae), and its prevalence was correlated with in vitro macrophage activation by extracts of this plant. ...
Article
Evidence supports the theory that bacterial communities colonizing Echinacea purpurea contribute to the innate immune enhancing activity of this botanical. Previously, we reported that only about half of the variation in in vitro monocyte stimulating activity exhibited by E. purpurea extracts could be accounted for by total bacterial load within the plant material. In the current study, we test the hypothesis that the type of bacteria, in addition to bacterial load, is necessary to fully account for extract activity. Bacterial community composition within commercial and freshly harvested (wild and cultivated) E. purpurea aerial samples was determined using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Bacterial isolates representing 38 different taxa identified to be present within E. purpurea were acquired, and the activity exhibited by the extracts of these isolates varied by over 8000-fold. Members of the Proteobacteria exhibited the highest potency for in vitro macrophage activation and were the most predominant taxa. Furthermore, the mean activity exhibited by the Echinacea extracts could be solely accounted for by the activities and prevalence of Proteobacteria members comprising the plant-associated bacterial community. The efficacy of E. purpurea material for use against respiratory infections may be determined by the Proteobacterial community composition of this plant, since ingestion of bacteria (probiotics) is reported to have a protective effect against this health condition. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
... It has been reported that LPS was detected in various Chinese herbal medicines and dietary cereals (1 to 100 μg/g of dry weight), and was considered to be derived from Gram-negative bacteria that are symbiotic to plants [54]. A herbal medicine, Juzen-taiho-to, has been shown to prevent hepatic inflammation when administered orally to a mouse model of NASH [55] and its active compound was determined as LPS mainly derived from genus Rahnella [56]. In the future, we would like to evaluate beneficial effect of agricultural foods that contain symbiotic bacteria-derived LPS on atherosclerosis. ...
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Pantoea agglomerans (P. agglomerans) is a Gram-negative bacterium that grows symbiotically with various edible plants, and the oral or sublingual administration of lipopolysaccharide derived from P. agglomerans (LPSp) have been suggested to contribute to prevention of immune-related diseases. Our previous study indicated that orally administered LPSp was shown to exhibit an LDL-lowering effect in hyperlipidemic volunteers; however, a preventive effect of LPSp on atherosclerosis is unclear. The present study attempted to evaluate the anti-atherosclerotic effect by LPSp in a mouse model of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced atherosclerosis. For 16 weeks, apoE-deficient mice were fed an HFD and received drinking water containing LPSp (0.3 or 1 mg/kg body weight/day). The results showed that the orally administered LPSp decreased body weight. A significant reduction in atherosclerotic plaque deposition was observed even with the lower dose of LPSp. The biochemical analyses showed that LPSp markedly improved glucose tolerance and reduced plasma LDL and oxidized LDL levels. In addition, LPSp significantly reduced the production of pro-inflammatory mediators including MCP-1 (in the plasma), TNF-α and IL-6 (in the colon), and decreased the oxidative burst activities in the peripheral blood sample. Taken together, these results suggest the possibility that oral administration of LPSp can effectively ameliorate HFD-induced hyperlipidemia and inflammatory/oxidative responses to prevent atherosclerosis and related metabolic disorders.
Article
Background/aim: Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is involved in the activation of the innate immune responses on monocytes/macrophages in vitro, and by intravenous injection. Although small quantities of LPS are usually found in traditional Chinese medicines, vegetables and fruits, the mode of action of orally administered LPS is still unclear. Materials and methods: LPS derived from Pantoea agglomerans (LPSp) was orally administered to C3H/HeN or C3H/HeJ mice ad libitum. Results: The LPSp treatment enhanced phagocytosis by resident peritoneal macrophages of C3H/HeN mice but not of C3H/HeJ mice. This activation can be defined as primed activation because no augmentation of inflammatory cytokines production was detected. LPSp in peritoneal fluid was detected and successfully quantified. Moreover, the LPSp reduced the expression of avian reticuloendotheliosis viral oncogene-related B (RelB) in the macrophages without degradation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cell inhibitor, alpha (IκBα). Conclusion: Orally administered LPSp can reach the peritoneum, and enhance phagocytosis via Toll-like receptor 4 signaling pathway in resident peritoneal macrophages.
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Background/aim: Oral ingestion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to be effective in diseases' prevention. Brown rice contains large amounts of LPS not actively consumed because of bad taste. Recently, a new type of brown rice with its wax layer removed has been produced. In this report, we measured the LPS content of this dewaxed rice and evaluated the function of innate immune activation on macrophages. Materials and methods: Dewaxed brown rice and polished rice were prepared using the Saika-style rice polishing process. LPS content extracted using hot water from this sample was evaluated by the Limulus reaction and the activation of macrophage RAW246.7 cells was evaluated by nitric oxide (NO) production. In addition, toll-like receptors (TLRs) 2-, 4- and 9-induced human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells were used for the confirmation of the activated pathway. Results: Mean LPS content in the 15 types of dewaxed brown rice was found to be 6.4±2.6 μg/g, while that of brown rice was 10.9±4.3 μg/g. The extract of dewaxed brown rice induced significant amounts of NO by RAW246.7 cells, while production was reduced to 1/6 by adding polymyxin B. The macrophage activating effect of dewaxed brown rice was 79- and 51-times higher than that of polished rice in TLR4- and 2-induced HEK 293 cells. Conclusion: LPS content in dewaxed brown rice was found to be able to activate macrophages. This rice activated macrophages mainly via the TLR4 and, to a lesser extent, TLR2 pathways. It is suggested that dewaxed brown rice can be considered effective in allergy and cancer prevention.
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Objective: Recurrent acute otitis media (AOM) in young children is rapidly increasing worldwide. Repeated antibiotic use leads to antibiotic-resistant pathogen development. Complementary and alternative medicine approaches have been suggested as a supplemental treatment option to conventional antimicrobial medicine. This randomized, parallel-group, open-label, non-herbal medicine controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, juzen-taiho-to (JTT) for AOM prevention in otitis-prone children. Methods: Children prone to recurrent AOM aged 6-48 months were recruited from 26 otolaryngology clinics in Japan and received conventional AOM treatment based on Japanese guidelines with or without 2 daily oral doses of JTT (0.10-0.25g/kg/day). The mean number of AOM episodes, coryza episodes, and duration of total antibiotic administration per month were compared during 3-month intervention. Results: At least one episode of AOM was diagnosed in 71% of JTT-group and 92% of control participants during follow-up. JTT administration reduced the frequency of AOM episodes by 57% compared with children who received conventional treatment alone (0.61±0.54 vs. 1.07±0.72 AOM instances/month; P=0.005) and also significantly decreased number of coryza episodes (P=0.015) and total antibiotic administration (P=0.024). Conclusions: This is the first report of recurrent AOM prevention by herbal medication. JTT appears to effectively prevent recurrent AOM in children. Subsequent double-blind studies are needed to confirm the beneficial effects of JTT on recurrent AOM and upper respiratory tract infections.
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Oral intake of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been demonstrated to be effective in the prevention of various diseases. We have found that the subaleurone layer of rice contains a large amount of LPS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of this layer in innate immunity. Using the Saika-style rice polishing process, a sbaleurone layer and the rice retaining a subaleurone layer and polished white rice were prepared from brown rice. Using hot-water extracts from rice, LPS content was measured by the Limulus reaction and the effect of activation of macrophages was evaluated on the basis of their phagocytic activity and nitric monoxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production levels. Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2-, TLR-4- and TLR-9-transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells were used to identify the activation pathway. An allergy mouse model was used to evaluate the prevention of pollen allergy. When compared to polished white rice, rice retaining a subaleurone layer had a 6-fold increase in LPS and an increased macrophage activation when phagocytic activity and NO and TNF production were used as indices. TRL4 was the major pathway for such activation. Anti-allergy test by oral intake of subaleurone showed a significant preventive effect for pollen allergy. Compared to polished white rice, rice retaining a subaleurone layer contained a high level of LPS with higher macrophage activation. Furthermore, oral administration of the rice demonstrated a preventive effect for pollen allergy, thus indicating its utility as a functional food that has a regulatory effect on innate immunity. Copyright© 2015 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.
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Diverse microorganisms are living as endophytes in plant tissues and as epiphytes on plant surfaces in nature. Questions about driving forces shaping the microbial community associated with plants remain unanswered. Because legumes developed systems to attain endosymbioses with rhizobia as well as mycorrhizae during their evolution, the above questions can be addressed using legume mutants relevant to genes for symbiosis. Analytical methods for the microbial community have recently been advanced by enrichment procedures of plant-associated microbes and culture-independent analyses targeting the small subunit of rRNA in microbial ecology. In this review, we first deal with interdisciplinary works on the global diversity of bacteria associated with field-grown soybeans with different nodulation genotypes and nitrogen application. A subpopulation of Proteobacteria in aerial parts of soybean shoots was likely to be regulated through both the autoregulation system for plant-rhizobium symbiosis and the nitrogen signaling pathway, suggesting that legumes accommodate a taxonomically characteristic microbial community through unknown plant-microbe communications. In addition to the community views, we then show multiphasic analysis of a beneficial rice endophyte for comparative bacterial genomics and plant responses. The significance and perspectives of community- and genome-based approaches are discussed to achieve a better understanding of plant-microbe interactions.
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Innate immunity, especially that involving macrophage function, reportedly diminishes with advancing age and in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we tried to elicit the non-specific activation of peripheral macrophages by oral administration of the herbal medicine Juzen-taiho-to (JTT), to assess its effect as a possible treatment for AD patients. Amyloid-beta protein precursor transgenic mice were used as a model of AD to clarify the effect of JTT. Activated macrophages derived from bone marrow cross the blood-brain barrier, and then develop into microglia, which phagocytose aggregated amyloid-beta (Abeta) in senile plaques. Here we show that orally administered JTT increased the number of CD11b-positive ramified microglia in the mouse brain. The immunohistochemical examination of brain sections stained with polyclonal anti-Abeta antibody showed reduced Abeta burden, and Abeta levels were also decreased in the insoluble fractions of brain homogenates, as determined by ELISA. Thus, the activation of peripheral macrophages by JTT might be a potential new therapeutic strategy for AD.
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Each recent report of liquid water existing elsewhere in the Solar System has reverberated through the international press and excited the imagination of humankind. Why? Because in the past few decades we have come to realize that where there is liquid water on Earth, virtually no matter what the physical conditions, there is life. What we previously thought of as insurmountable physical and chemical barriers to life, we now see as yet another niche harbouring 'extremophiles'. This realization, coupled with new data on the survival of microbes in the space environment and modelling of the potential for transfer of life between celestial bodies, suggests that life could be more common than previously thought. Here we examine critically what it means to be an extremophile, and the implications of this for evolution, biotechnology and especially the search for life in the Universe.
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Exposure of macrophages to bacterial products such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) results in activation of the NF-kappaB transcription factor, which orchestrates a gene expression programme that underpins the macrophage-dependent immune response. These changes include the induction or repression of a wide range of genes that regulate inflammation, cell proliferation, migration and cell survival. This process is tightly regulated and loss of control is associated with conditions such as septic shock, inflammatory diseases and cancer. To study this response, it is important to have in vitro model systems that reflect the behaviour of cells in vivo. In addition, it is necessary to understand the natural differences that can occur between individuals. In this report, we have investigated and compared the LPS response in macrophage derived cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) derived macrophages. Gene expression profiles were determined following LPS treatment of THP-1 cells for 1 and 4 hours. LPS significantly induced or repressed 72 out of 465 genes selected as being known or putative NF-kappaB target genes, which exhibited 4 temporal patterns of expression. Results for 34 of these genes, including several genes not previously identified as LPS target genes, were validated using real time PCR. A high correlation between microarray and real time PCR data was found. Significantly, the LPS induced expression profile of THP-1 cells, as determined using real time PCR, was found to be very similar to that of human PBMC derived macrophages. Interestingly, some differences were observed in the LPS response between the two donor PBMC macrophage populations. Surprisingly, we found that the LPS response in U937 cells was dramatically different to both THP-1 and PBMC derived macrophages. This study revealed a dynamic and diverse transcriptional response to LPS in macrophages, involving both the induction and repression of gene expression in a time dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrated that the LPS induced transcriptional response in the THP-1 cell line is very similar to primary PBMC derived macrophages. Therefore, THP-1 cells represent a good model system for studying the mechanisms of LPS and NF-kappaB dependent gene expression.
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Microglia are the main immunocompetent and phagocytic cells in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Bone marrow-derived microglia have been demonstrated to be more effective in antigen presentation and phagocytosis than inherent microglia in AD. Thus, microglia have received much attention in the pathogenesis of AD. The herbal medicine Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) has been reported to reduce β-amyloid (Aβ) burden in the mouse brain of an AD model. In this study, we explored the effects of JTT on the migration and differentiation of bone marrow-derived cells in the mouse brain of acutely induced AD. To chase bone marrow-derived cells, we made a chimeric mouse line in C57BL/6 by transplanting fresh bone marrow cells, isolated from the transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein gene. The chimeric mice were orally administrated with JTT or distilled water, and were left untreated or given intrahippocampal injection of fibrillar Aβ 1-42 (fAβ42) or vehicle. In the hippocampus of the vehicle-injected mouse, JTT treatment for 37 days caused a significant increase in the number of microglial cells. In the fAβ42-injected mouse hippocampus, a larger number of bone marrow-derived cells were detected in JTT-treated mice than control mice in the non-neighboring regions of the fAβ42-injected site but not around the injected site. These results suggest that JTT might contribute to the reduction of Aβ burden and the immune surveillance in non-pathological as well as pathological brain regions. The results also implicate the therapeutic potential of JTT in AD.
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Juzen-taiho-to is an immunostimulatory herbal formulation that is clinically used in East Asia for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The formulation stimulates various leukocytes, including T, B, and NK cells and macrophages. Although Juzen-taiho-to is known to contain numerous compounds with various pharmacological activities, it is not clear which compounds are responsible for the stimulation of individual cell types. Here, we conducted what we call "biomarker-guided screening" to purify compounds responsible for the macrophages stimulatory activity. To this end, gene expression was analyzed by a DNA array for macrophages treated with Juzen-taiho-to and DMSO (vehicle control), which identified intercellular adhesion molecule 1 as a biomarker of macrophage stimulation by Juzen-taiho-to. A quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 was then used to guide the purification of active compounds. The screening resulted in the purification of a glycolipid mixture, containing β-glucosylceramides. The glycolipid mixture potently stimulated intercellular adhesion molecule 1 expression in primary dendritic cells as well as in primary CD14+ (macrophages) cells. The identification of this glycolipid mixture opens up an opportunity for further studies to understand how plant-derived glycolipids stimulate macrophages and dendritic cells in a safe and effective manner as demonstrated by Juzen-taiho-to.
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Four filamentous fungi associated with nematodes were isolated and identified from litter samples collected in the Integral Natural Reserve "Bosco Siro Negri" (PV, Italy): Arthrobotrys dactyloides, Arthrobotrys oligospora var. oligospora, Pochonia bulbillosa, and Pochonia chlamydosporia var. catenulata. Their capacity to break down the nematode population was evaluated in vitro by means of simple and reproducible multiwell plates method. All fungal strains were able to cause a death-rate significantly different from the controls (p < 0.05). Precisely, A. dactyloides caused, on average, a 26% death rate increase in the nematode population compared to the control, A. oligospora var. oligospora 25%, P. bulbillosa 12%, and P. chlamidosporia var. catenulata 17%. The method has also allowed to determine the more active fungi as regards the prey's life cycle stage. The most active strains against nematodes (adults) were A. dactyloides and A. oligospora var. oligospora, known to attack adults or larval stages by means of tridimensional traps. On the contrary P. bulbillosa and P. chlamydosporia, known to attack mainly the nematode life stage of cysts, showed lower activity against adult nematodes.
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Our previous studies indicate that the majority of in vitro monocyte/macrophage activation exhibited by extracts of Echinacea depends on bacterial components. In the present study, total bacterial load was determined within E. purpurea samples and ranged from 6.4 × 106 to 3.3 × 108 bacteria/g of dry plant material. To estimate total bacterial load, we developed a PCR-based quantification method that circumvents the problems associated with nonviable/nonculturable cells (which precludes using plate counts) or the coamplification of mitochondrial or chloroplast DNA with the use of universal bacterial primers (which precludes the use of qPCR). Differences in total bacterial load within Echinacea samples were strongly correlated with the activity (NF-κB activation in THP-1 cells) and content of bacterial lipopolysaccharides within extracts of this plant material. These results add to the growing body of evidence that bacteria within Echinacea are the main source of components responsible for enhancing innate immune function.
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Purpose: Although Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (SQDBT) has been used to treat cancer patients clinically, very few studies evaluating the effectiveness of SQDBT using objective indicators have been published. The study objectives were to examine the effectiveness of SQDBT for alleviating hematotoxicity, as indicated by white blood cell (WBC) counts and hemoglobin (Hb) levels, among patients with breast carcinoma receiving chemotherapy. Methods: The authors identified patients with breast carcinoma who received chemotherapy in a teaching hospital in Taipei in 2008 through a chart review process. Only patients with initial WBC counts of <4000/µL were included. The case group was composed of 47 chemotherapy courses treated with SQDBT, whereas the comparison group included 257 courses without SQDBT. The complete blood count test was done before start of a chemotherapy course and 1 week after chemotherapeutic drugs were given. Results: Age, cancer stage, cancer status, use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and chemotherapy drugs were controlled in the model. Patients who took SQDBT had significantly increased WBC counts, especially neutrophils, and Hb after chemotherapy (adjusted β = 1202.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 440.45-1964.57 for WBC; β = 834.83, 95% CI = 197.35-1472.31 for neutrophils; β = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.05-0.63 for Hb). There were no significant differences in tumor markers CEA and CA153 between patients given SQDBT or not after chemotherapy. Conclusion: SQDBT is effective in alleviating hematotoxicity among patients with breast carcinoma receiving chemotherapy, without affecting the presentation of tumor markers in the short term. More study is needed to determine long-term outcomes such as recurrence and survival.
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Yamoa (ground bark of Funtumia elastica tree) is marketed and sold as a dietary supplement with anecdotal therapeutic effects in the treatment of asthma and hay fever. We determined that Yamoa and Yamoa-derived polysaccharides affected innate immunity, in part, by priming gammadelta T cells. Gene expression patterns in purified bovine gammadelta T cells and monocytes induced by Yamoa were similar to those induced by ultrapure lipopolysaccharide (uLPS). In the presence of accessory cells, Yamoa had priming effects that were similar to those of LPS on bovine and murine gammadelta T cells, but much more potent than LPS on human gammadelta T cells. The bioactive component of Yamoa was delineated to a complex polysaccharide fraction (Yam-I). Intraperitoneal injection of Yamoa and Yam-I in mice induced rapid increases in peritoneal neutrophils directed by changes in chemokine expression. In support of a unique agonist found in Yam-I, similar peritonitis responses were also observed in TLR4- and MyD88-deficient mice. Therapeutic treatment with Yam-I resulted in decreased bacterial counts in feces from mice with Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium (ST)-induced enterocolitis. This characterization of the immune stimulatory properties of polysaccharides derived from Yamoa suggests mechanisms for the anecdotal positive effects of its ingestion and that these polysaccharides show potential for application in innate protection from disease.
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A method was developed for enriching bacterial cells from soybean stems which was recalcitrant for a culture-independent analysis of bacterial community due to the interference with plant DNA. Stem homogenates were fractionated by a series of differential centrifugations followed by a Nycodenz density gradient centrifugation. The efficiency of bacterial cell enrichment was assessed by ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA). The intensity and the number of bacterial amplicons of RISA were markedly increased in the DNA extracted from the enriched bacterial cells compared to that in the DNA directly extracted from soybean stems. The phylogenetic diversity of the enriched bacterial cells was evaluated by analyzing a clone library of 16S rRNA gene in comparison with those of the culturable fractions of the enriched and non-enriched stem-associated bacteria, endophytic bacteria, and epiphytic bacteria. The results indicated that the method was able to enrich both endophytic and epiphytic bacteria from soybean stems, and was useful to assess the bacterial diversity based on a 16S rRNA gene clone library. When the sequence data from all clones (1,332 sequences) were combined, 72 operational taxonomic units were affiliated with Proteobacteria (Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria), Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, which also provided the most comprehensive set of data on the bacterial diversity in the aerial parts of soybeans.
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We previously reported that the majority of in vitro monocyte/macrophage activation exhibited by extracts of Echinacea and other botanicals depends upon bacterial lipopolysaccharides and Braun-type bacterial lipoproteins. We determined the contribution made by these bacterial components to the overall immune-enhancing activity detected in E. purpurea and E. angustifolia bulk root and aerial material obtained from six major growers/suppliers in North America. Substantial variation in activity (up to 200-fold) was observed in extracts of these materials when tested in two monocyte/macrophage cell lines. The majority of activity was negated by treatment with agents that target bacterial lipoproteins (lipoprotein lipase) and lipopolysaccharides (polymyxin B). Experiments comparing the activity of freeze-dried, freshly harvested Echinacea plants to those harvested and dried using various commercially relevant conditions suggest that postharvesting procedures do not substantially contribute to the variation observed in the commercial material.
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A DNA-DNA hybridization study was carried out to determine the taxonomic position of a new group of enterobacteria (group H2) previously studied by numerical taxonomy. All the strains of this group revealed relatively high reassociation binding ratios with the centrotype; 82% of the strains of the group showed more than 69% of reassociation with the centrotype. In spite of numerical taxonomy conclusions, there was no genetic relationship with the species Enterobacter cloacae (higher reassociation binding ratio: 37%). No significant genetic relationship with the other groups of enterobacteria was found. Rahnella aquatilis was defined from phenotypic and genetic data. The strain 133 (CIP 78-65) is proposed as type strain of the species.
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Three strains of mice were injected with a T-independent antigen, Escherichia coli 055:B5 polysaccharide (PS) combined with purified saponin, QS-21, isolated from Quillaia saponaria bark. PS was prepared by hydrolysis of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Nine week old mice were injected intradermally with 60 ug PS, as determined by an anthrone assay, with or without 15 ug QS-21 on days 0 and 14. On day 22 sera were assayed by EIA for PS specific antibodies. Titers were 11-fold higher in CD-1 mice with QS-21. C3H/HeJ (lpsd) and C3H/HeSnJ (lpsr) mice also showed an adjuvant associated increase in titer with saponin. Therefore, LPS responsiveness was not required for the adjuvant effect. PS vaccinated C3H and CD-1 mice with and without QS-21 had similar antibody isotype profiles. lgG2b titers accounted for more than half of the total Ig response. lgG2a was next highest followed by lgG3, IgM, lgG1, and IgA. In comparison, CD-1 mice injected with 0.1 ug intact LPS had a different LPS specific isotype profile. lgG3 was the highest followed by lgG1, lgG2b, IgM, lgG2a, and IgA.
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Saponins were purified from Quillaja saponaria Molina bark by silica and reverse phase chromatography. The resulting purified saponins were tested for adjuvant activity in mice. Several distinct saponins, designated QS-7, QS-17, QS-18, and QS-21, were demonstrated to boost antibody levels by 100-fold or more when used in mouse immunizations with the Ag BSA and beef liver cytochrome b5. These purified saponins increased titers in all major IgG subclasses. To determine optimal dose in mice for adjuvant response, QS-7 and QS-21 were tested in a dose-response study in intradermal immunization with BSA in mice; for both of these purified saponins, adjuvant response (determined by stimulation of ELISA titers to BSA) neared maximum at doses of 5 micrograms and was shown to plateau up to the highest dose tested, 80 micrograms. These purified saponins vary considerably in their toxicity, as assessed by lethality in mice; the main component, QS-18, being the most toxic. Saponins QS-7 and QS-21 showed no or very low toxicity in mice, respectively. None of these saponins stimulated production of reaginic antibodies. The monosaccharide composition of these saponins showed similar but distinct compositions with all four containing fucose, xylose, galactose and glucuronic acid. Predominant differences were observed in the quantities of rhamnose, arabinose, and glucose. Monomer m.w. (determined by size exclusion HPLC) were determined to range from 1800 to 2200.
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A new affinity column packing for removal of endotoxins has been prepared by coupling USP drug-quality polymyxin B to Affi-Prep, a novel synthetic macroporous polymer. Affi-Prep Polymyxin binds endotoxins from a number of different strains of gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxin binding is not significantly affected by 10 mg/ml of bovine serum albumin or human immunoglobulin G, by 1 mg/ml sodium dodecyl sulphate, or by 1 mg/ml deoxycholate. Affi-Prep Polymyxin is stable to treatment with 1.0 M sodium hydroxide, an important property for sanitizing the resin. The resin shows a high ligand stability, since no leakage of polymyxin B from the packing could be detected. Affi-Prep Polymyxin exhibited the highest endotoxin binding efficiency when compared with several commercial agarose affinity packings.
Article
Polymyxin B is often added to in vitro samples to 'ensure' that endotoxin activity is removed. We present data, from the standard rabbit pyrogen test and the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay, that polymyxin B bound to a gel support will bind some, but not all, endotoxin. These data, in conjunction with previously published data by Morrison and Curry (1979), indicate that those studies that have relied on polymyxin B to inactivate endotoxin must be re-evaluated.
Article
Over three decades of molecular-phylogenetic studies, researchers have compiled an increasingly robust map of evolutionary diversification showing that the main diversity of life is microbial, distributed among three primary relatedness groups or domains: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya. The general properties of representatives of the three domains indicate that the earliest life was based on inorganic nutrition and that photosynthesis and use of organic compounds for carbon and energy metabolism came comparatively later. The application of molecular-phylogenetic methods to study natural microbial ecosystems without the traditional requirement for cultivation has resulted in the discovery of many unexpected evolutionary lineages; members of some of these lineages are only distantly related to known organisms but are sufficiently abundant that they are likely to have impact on the chemistry of the biosphere.
Article
Interferon plus ribavirin (IFN/Rib) therapy is currently standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Hemolytic anemia, however, is a serious side effect of this treatment, requiring reductions in or complete withdrawal of ribavirin. We retrospectively investigated the effect of the Kampo medicine Juzen-taiho-to (TJ-48), which contains bone marrow-stimulating compounds, on anemia in 67 patients with chronic hepatitis C, who received IFN/Rib therapy. The reduction in hemoglobin levels was significantly ameliorated in TJ-48-treated patients (P<0.05). Consequently, only 13% (4/32) of TJ-48-treated patients received altered doses of ribavirin, while the ribavirin dose had to be reduced or withdrawn in 43% (15/35) of patients in the absence of TJ-48 administration (P<0.001). These results indicate the possibility that oral administration of TJ-48 supports IFN/Rib therapy without necessitating ribavirin reduction or withdrawal.
Article
We have identified potent monocyte/macrophage activating bacterial lipoproteins within commonly used immune enhancing botanicals such as Echinacea, American ginseng and alfalfa sprouts. These bacterial lipoproteins, along with lipopolysaccharides, were substantially more potent than other bacterially derived components when tested in in vitro monocyte/macrophage activation systems. In experiments using RAW 264.7 and mouse peritoneal macrophages the majority (85-98%) of the activity within extracts from eight immune enhancing botanicals was eradicated by treatment with agents (lipoprotein lipase and polymyxin B) known to target these two bacterial components. Alfalfa sprouts exhibited the highest activity of those botanicals tested but the appearance of this activity during the germination of surface sterilized seeds was abolished by the presence of antibiotics. These studies indicate that the majority of the in vitro macrophage activating properties in extracts from these botanicals can be attributed to the presence of lipoproteins and lipopolysaccharides derived from bacteria and that bacterial endophytes may be a significant source of these components.
Article
Juzen-taiho-to (JTT, TJ-48), a Japanese herbal medicine that improves immune function, was found to be effective in otitis-prone in children. To evaluate the efficacy of JTT against intractable and recurrent infections in immature immune systems, we administered JTT to otitis-prone infants and investigated clinical changes before and during JTT administration. Twenty-four otitis-prone infants were administered JTT at 0.10-0.14 g/kg/day twice a day for 3 months. We compared clinical course, such as frequency of acute otitis media (AOM), duration of fever and antibiotics administration, and hospital visits for the periods before and during JTT administration. Medication compliance rate was 87.5%, and administration of JTT led to remission in 95.2% patients. No apparent side effects were observed. The frequency of AOM decreased significantly (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p=0.000) with JTT. The duration of fever (p=0.000) and administration of antibiotics (p=0.001), as well as the number of hospital visits (p=0.001) and emergent hospital visits (p=0.000) showed significant decreases after JTT administration. After the end of the JTT period, 14 of 21 (66.7%) patients started to take it again, as they experienced purulent otitis media and/or other infections after discontinuation. The frequency of AOM increased significantly after stopping JTT (p=0.004) and decreased again with JTT resumption (p=0.005).
  • R N Glud
  • F Wenzhofer
  • M Middelboe
  • K Oguri
  • R Turnewitsch
  • D E Canfield
  • H Kitazato
Glud RN, Wenzhofer F, Middelboe M, Oguri K, Turnewitsch R, Canfield DE, Kitazato H. Nature Geosci. 2013; 6:284.
Juzen-taiho-to (shi-quan-da-bu-tang) : scientific evaluation and clinical applications. Yamada, H.; Saiki, I., editors. Taylor & Francis
  • H Yamada
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Yamada, H.; Saiki, I. Juzen-taiho-to (shi-quan-da-bu-tang) : scientific evaluation and clinical applications. Yamada, H.; Saiki, I., editors. Taylor & Francis; Boca Raton, Fla., London: 2005.
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Jebara SH, Abdelkerim S, Fatnassi IC, Chiboub M, Saadani O, Jebara M. J Basic Microbiol. 2014; 54:1. [PubMed: 23553775]