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A polysaccharide from Chinese herb Puhuang can inhibit tumor by regulating apoptosis of macrophage

The pollen of Typha angustifolia L. also known as Pollen Typhae (Puhuang) in China, has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine. Pollen is a commonly used medicinal part of this plant. The water extract of the pollen of T.angustifolia has the antitumor activity by enhancing immunity, and it increases the levels of TNF-α, IL-10, IL-1β and IFN-γ in the mouse spleen and enhances the activity of NK cells. Polysaccharides are the main components of water extracts and may participate in enhancing immunity to exert antitumor effects.

In recent years, the antitumor effect of polysaccharides has received increasing attention. The antitumor activity of polysaccharides is usually mediated by two main pathways: direct killing of tumor cells and activation of the immune system. The latter activates various immune cells (such as macrophages) to produce a series of factors regulating immune cells. Numerous studies have shown that polysaccharides regulate the production of inflammatory factors by regulating the activation of immune cells, thereby killing tumor cells.

An arabinogalactan (PTPS-1-2) was isolated and characterized from Pollen Typhae, and its potential antitumor effects on activating macrophages to produce immunomodulatory factors and promoting apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells were investigated. PTPS-1-2 exerted marked antitumor effects by inhibiting RKO cell proliferation and suppressing cell colony formation.

In the present study, the morphology of macrophages was altered and induced to polarize into the M1 type after 24 h of treatment with PTPS-1-2, the expression of M1-related genes was also significantly upregulated. In addition, PTPS-1- 2-containing CM markedly inhibited the proliferation of RKO cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. These results indicated that PTPS-1-2-activated Mφs possessed marked antitumor activity against RKO cells. Therefore, PTPS-1-2 may have the potential as an immunomodulator to treat tumors.


PTPS-1-2 might be a therapeutic option for the prevention and treatment of tumors.


An arabinogalactan isolated from Pollen Typhae induces the apoptosis of RKO cells by promoting macrophage polarization.Carbohydr Polym. 2023 Jan 1;299:120216. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.120216. Epub 2022 Oct 14.

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