β-Glucans as Natural Biological Response Modifiers

Vaclav Vetvicka
Department of Pathology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

Series: Biochemistry Research Trends
BISAC: SCI007000

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It is well established that among the many known and tested immunomodulators, polysaccharides isolated from various natural sources occupy a prominent position. ß-Glucans belong to a group of biologically active natural compounds called biological response modifiers. These substances represent highly conserved structural components of cell walls in yeast, fungi, grain and seaweed. Its role as an immunomodulator has been well documented for over 50 years. Initial interest in the immunomodulatory properties of polysaccharides was raised after experiments revealed that a crude yeast cell preparation stimulated macrophages via activation of complement.

Glucan represents a type of immunostimulant that is active over the full spectrum of biological species, which allowed glucan to be used as a potent immunostimulator in commercially important species such as shrimps, fish or pigs. In the last decade, a renewed interest in human application has brought about some important studies on orally-administered glucan resulting in 18 currently running clinical trials. Fortunately, in the last years, research in reputable laboratories has reached a phase when the basic mechanisms of ß-glucan effects are known and the relationship between structure and activity were clearly established. It seems now that ß-glucans will finally take a position which was ascribed to them more than fifty years ago. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical )

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1. Major Glucan Receptors

Chapter 2. Signaling Events upon Glucan-Cell Interaction

Chapter 3. Glucan and Bone Marrow

Chapter 4. Antitumor Activity of Glucan

Chapter 5. Glucan and Allergy

Chapter 6. Glucan in Aquaculture

Chapter 7. Glucan and Immunotoxicity

Chapter 8. The Role of Glucan in Arthritis

Chapter 9. Role of Glucan in Biology of Gastrointestinal Tract

Chapter 10. Glucan and Infections

Chapter 11. Glucan: Other Biological Effects

Chapter 12. Lesser Known Effects of Glucan

Index

"This is an excellent reference book focusing on the wide variety of biological effects of ß-glucans. Despite the ample scientific literature supporting their promising effects as natural biological response modifiers, enthusiasm for ß-glucans as potential therapeutic agents has been tempered by conflicting results, source and structural heterogeneity and lack of understanding of their actions at the molecular level." READ MORE... - G. Rafael Fernandez-Botran, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville

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