Improved Chemotherapeutic Activity by Morus alba Fruits through Immune Response of Toll-Like Receptor 4.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015 ;16(10):24139-58. Epub 2015 Oct 13. PMID: 26473845
Bo Yoon Chang
Morus alba L. fruits have long been used in traditional medicine by many cultures. Their medicinal attributes include cardiovascular, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory actions. However, their mechanism of macrophage activation and anti-cancer effects remain unclear. The present study investigated the molecular mechanisms of immune stimulation and improved chemotherapeutic effect of M. alba L. fruit extract (MFE). MFE stimulated the production of cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and tumoricidal properties of macrophages. MFE activated macrophages through the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKinase) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways downstream from toll-like receptor (TLR) 4. MFE was shown to exhibit cytotoxicity of CT26 cells via the activated macrophages, even though MFE did not directly affect CT26 cells. In a xenograft mouse model, MFE significantly enhanced anti-cancer activity combined with 5-fluorouracil and markedly promoted splenocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity and IFN-γ production. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels were significantly increased. These results indicate the indirect anti-cancer activity of MFE through improved immune response mediated by TLR4 signaling. M. alba L. fruit extract might be a potential anti-tumor immunomodulatory candidate chemotherapy agent.