Immunomodulatory function and anti-tumor mechanism of natural polysaccharides: A review

Polysaccharides extracted from natural resources have attracted extensive attention in biomedical research and pharmaceutical fields, due to their medical values in anti-tumor, immunomodulation, drug delivery, and many other aspects. At present, a variety of natural polysaccharides have been developed as adjuvant drugs in clinical application. Benefit from their structural variability, polysaccharides have great potential in regulating cellular signals. Some polysaccharides exert direct anti-tumor effects by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, while the majority of polysaccharides can regulate the host immune system and indirectly inhibit tumors by activating either non-specific or specific immune responses. As the essential of microenvironment in the process of tumor development has been gradually revealed, some polysaccharides were found to inhibit the proliferation and metastasis of tumor cells via tumoral niche modulation. Here, we focused on natural polysaccharides with biomedical application potential, reviewed the recent advancement in their immunomodulation function and highlighted the importance of their signaling transduction feature for the antitumor drug development.
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research