• Orally administered beta-glucan attenuates the Th2 response in a model of airway hypersensitivity

      Burg, Ashley R.; Quigley, Laura; Jones, Adam V.; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Boelte, Kimberly; McVicar, Daniel W.; Orr, Selinda J.; National Cancer Institute-Frederick; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University Dental Hospital, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; University of Chester; Cardiff University School of Medicine (SpringerOpen, 2016-06-21)
      beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide that can be extracted from fungal cell walls. Wellmune WGP((R)), a preparation of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans, is a dietary supplement that has immunomodulating properties. Here we investigated the effect WGP had on a mouse model of asthma. OVA-induced asthma in mice is characterized by infiltration of eosinophils into the lung, production of Th2 cytokines and IgE. Daily oral administration of WGP (400 microg) significantly reduced the influx of eosinophils into the lungs of OVA-challenged mice compared to control mice. In addition, WGP inhibited pulmonary production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13), however serum IgE levels were unaffected by WGP treatment. These data indicate that WGP could potentially be useful as an oral supplement for some asthma patients, however, it would need to be combined with therapies that target other aspects of the disease such as IgE levels. As such, further studies that examine the potential of WGP in combination with other therapies should be explored.