For almost 2000 years it has been recognized that aqueous extracts from pine cones possess medicinal properties beneficial for the treatment of a broad variety of diseases and conditions. In this report, the ability of an orally administered poly phenylpropanoid-polysaccharide rich extract of pine cones (PPC) to suppress the generation of IgE and to significantly enhance antigen-specific cellular responses to a variety of vaccines was tested. Methods: A variety of vaccine protocols were utilized to determine the affects of orally administered PPC on the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance, the production of IgE antibodies, and the generation of antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells. The effect of PPC on the Th1/Th2 balance in aged mice was also investigated. Results: Oral delivery of PPC was found to significantly suppress serum IgE levels in naïve mice and in mice sensitized to ovalbumin. PPC was also found to enhance the generation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in mice immunized with DNA, dendritic cell, and soluble protein vaccines. The suppression of IgE was associated with reduction of IL-4 secretion and the enhanced production of IL-12 and IFNγ by antigen-stimulated splenocytes from PPC treated mice. PPC also suppressed the Th2 response and enhanced the Th1 response of splenocytes from aged mice. Conclusion: Oral delivery of PPC enhances the generation of an antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses induced by soluble protein, DNA, and dendritic cell vaccines while at the same time suppressing the generation of a Th2 dominant IgE response. This effect on the Th1/Th2 balance was also observed in aged mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine