Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Polysaccharides have long been used as immune-modulators in various pathologic conditions including inflammation and solid malignancies.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of Zymosan and Betaglucan on cytotoxic reactions in an effectortarget conjugate system.
Methods: Blood was obtained from 20 healthy subjects; purified mononuclear leukocytes (monocytes and lymphocytes) were extracted and cultured as effector cells by a cytotoxic method. Both adherent and non-adherent cells interacted with the K562 myeloid cell line. The effector-target (E:T) ratio was 1:1, 1:10, and 1:20. To evaluate stimulatory effects of Betaglucan and Zymosan on cytotoxic reactions, samples were divided into case and control groups based on the presence or absence of Betaglucan and Zymosan. MTT assay and sFas ligand (sFasL) concentrations were used to assess the increased killing capacity of effector cells.
Results: Our results revealed that Zymosan and Betaglucan can induce cytotoxic responses in macrophages and lymphocytes (P<0.05). The best result was achieved with E:T ratio of 1:1. Both macrophages and lymphocytes produced sFasL following stimulation by Zymosan and Betaglucan, however, the level of production was not statistically significant (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Zymosan and Betaglucan can be used as enhancers of the killing capacity of the immune cells; therefore, Betaglucan and Zymosan can be applied as systemic stimulators of the immune response in inflammation and chronic infection.