In the course of screening for immunomodulators, we found a significant blastogenic activity specific for splenic B cells in the extracts of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). Active fractions termed SF1 and SF2 were purified from dried petals of safflower by boiling water extraction, ethanol precipitation and Sepharose CL-2B column chromatography. The elution profiles of the gel filtration indicated that the molecular weight of SF1 and SF2 was estimated to be more than 100 kD. Major components of SF1 and SF2 seem to be polysaccharides, and structural analysis of alditol acetate derivatives by GC-MS revealed some differences between SF1 and SF2 in the sugar component. Biological activities of SF1 and SF2 on B cells and macrophages were examined in comparison with lipopolysaccharides (LPS). SF1 and SF2 induced both the proliferation and the IgM production of B cells to the equivalent level as those induced by LPS. In macrophages, SF1 and SF2 effectively stimulated the production of NO. However, SF1 stimulated the production of IL-1, IL-6, and TNF as much as LPS, while SF2 induced them only weakly or not at all. Thus, these results suggest that SF1 and SF2 activate B cells and macrophages in different mechanisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology