Oral administration of a soluble 1-3, 1-6 β-glucan during prophylactic survivin peptide vaccination diminishes growth of a B cell lymphoma in mice.


beta-glucans are biological response modifiers with activatory effects on macrophages, dendritic cells (DC), granulocytes and NK cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of a soluble yeast-derived beta-(1-3), (1-6)-D-glucan on prophylactic peptide vaccination against the B cell lymphoma A20 in syngeneic Balb/c mice. We found that repeated immunizations with two MHC class-I restricted peptides derived from the tumor antigen survivin combined with oral co-administration of beta-glucan could significantly diminish intradermal tumor growth, whereas peptide vaccination alone failed to control tumor growth. beta-glucan as single agent induced only a weak but non-significant growth inhibitory effect. To determine whether the tumor inhibitory effect of the combined treatment was associated with the induction of a tumor-specific immune response we quantified splenic DC and macrophages, analyzed the maturation of DC and measured the frequency of peptide-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Treated mice showed significantly increased numbers of splenic macrophages and mature DC compared to untreated tumor-bearing mice. After restimulation with both peptides in vitro elevated levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma-secreting CD8+ T cells were found in two of four tested mice following treatment and one of four mice showed a strong increase of interleukin (IL)-4-secreting CD4+ T cells. Our data reveal a beneficial effect of beta-(1-3), (1-6)-D-glucan in tumor growth inhibition by tumor-specific peptide vaccination which may rely on a function of the polymeric sugar as immunological adjuvant.


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