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Lee, J. K., Lee, M. K., Yun, Y. P., Kim, Y., Kim, J. S., Kim, Y. S., Kim, K., Han, S. S., and Lee, C. K. (2001). Acemannan purified from Aloe vera induces phenotypic and functional maturation of immature dendritic cells. International Immunopharmacology, 1, 1275-1284.

Abstract: Acemannan, a major carbohydrate fraction of Aloe vera gel, has been known to have antiviral and antitumoral activities in vivo through activation of immune responses. The present study was set out to define the immunomodulatory activity of acemannan on dendritic cells (DCs), which are the most important accessory cells for the initiation of primary immune responses. Immature DCs were generated from mouse bone marrow (BM) cells by culturing in a medium supplemented with GM-CSF and IL-4, and then stimulated with acemannan, sulfated acemannan, and LPS, respectively. The resultant DCs were examined for phenotypic and functional properties. Phenotypic analysis for the expression of class II MHC molecules and major co-stimulatory molecules such as B7-1, B7-2, CD40 and CD54 confirmed that acemannan could induce maturation of immature DCs. Functional maturation of immature DCs was supported by increased allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and IL-12 production. The differentiation-inducing activity of acemannan was almost completely abolished by chemical sulfation. Based on these results, we propose that the adjuvant activity of acemannan is at least in part due to its capacity to promote differentiation of immature DCs.

Abstract: Acemannan in clinical medicine.

Abstract: To determine (a) whether a wound dressing gel that contains acemannan extracted from aloe leaves affects the severity of radiation-induced acute skin reactions in C3H mice; (b) if so, whether other commercially available gels such as a personal lubricating jelly and a healing ointment have similar effects; and © when the wound dressing gel should be applied for maximum effect. Methods and Materials: Male C3H mice received graded single doses of gamma radiation ranging from 30 to 47.5 Gy to the right leg. In most experiments, the gel was applied daily beginning immediately after irradiation. To determine timing of application for best effect, gel was applied beginning on day -7, 0, or +7 relative to the day of irradiation (day 0) and continuing for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. The right inner thigh of each mouse was scored on a scale of 0 to 3.5 for severity of radiation reaction from the seventh to the 35th day after irradiation. Dose-response curves were obtained by plotting the percentage of mice that reached or exceeded a given peak skin reaction as a function of dose. Curves were fitted by logic analysis and ED50 values, and 95% confidence limits were obtained. Results: The average peak skin reactions of the wound dressing gel-treated mice were lower than those of the untreated mice at all radiation doses tested. The ED50 values for skin reactions of 2.0-2.75 were approximately 7 Gy higher in the wound dressing gel-treated mice. The average peak skin reactions and the ED50 values for mice treated with personal lubricating jelly or healing ointment were similar to irradiated control values. Reduction in the percentage of mice with skin reactions of 2.5 or more was greatest in the groups that received wound dressing gel for at least 2 weeks beginning immediately after irradiation. There was no effect if gel was applied only before irradiation or beginning 1week after irradiation. Conclusion: Wound dressing gel, but not personal lubricating jelly or healing ointment, reduces acute radiation-induced skin reactions in C3H mice if applied daily for at least 2 weeks beginning immediately after irradiation.

Abstract Aloe vera is a traditional wound healing medicine. We hypothesized acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe vera gel, could affect bone formation. Primary rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were treated with various concentrations of acemannan. New DNA synthesis, VEGF, BMP-2, alkaline phosphatase activity, bone sialoprotein, osteopontin expression, and mineralization were determined by [3H] thymidine incor-poration assay, ELISA, biochemical assay, western blot-ting, and Alizarin Red staining, respectively. In an animal study, mandibular right incisors of male Sprague-Dawley rats were extracted and an acemannan treated sponge was placed in the socket. After 1, 2, and 4 weeks, the mandibles were dissected. Bone formation was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and histopathological examination. The in vitro results revealed acemannan significantly increased BMSC proliferation, VEGF, BMP-2, alkaline phosphatase activity, bone sialoprotein and osteopontin expression, and mineralization. In-vivo results showed acemannan-treated groups had higher bone mineral density and faster bone healing compared with untreated controls. A substantial ingrowth of bone trabeculae was observed in acemannan-treated groups. These data suggest acemannan could function as a bioactive molecule inducing bone formation by stimulating BMSCs proliferation, differentiation into osteoblasts, and extracellular matrix synthesis. Acemannan could be a candidate natural biomaterial for bone regeneration.

Abstract: Since acemannan appears to enhance monocyte function in other experiments, these studies were designed to test the capacity of acemannan to enhance immune response to alloantigen and to test whether the potential enhancement is a monocyte driven phenomenon.

Abstract: The effects of acemannan on the mouse macrophage cell were investigated. The results suggest that acemannan may function, at least in part, through macrophage activation.