Discovery of Mechanism of Action Outlined in Hematology Journal
EAGAN, MN – November 8, 2005 – Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which a WGP 3-6,Ò a patented yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, enhances the recovery of white blood cells following bone marrow injury from radiation, according to results published recently in Blood, a journal of The American Society of Hematology.
Earlier preclinical research has demonstrated that yeast beta glucan enhanced the production of white blood cells – a process known as hematopoiesis – following radiation exposure and reduced infectious complications of myelosuppression.
The current research published in Blood confirms these findings and identifies how particulate WGP 3-6 from Biothera, the immune health company, works in the body on a cellular and molecular level. The findings support the potential for developing therapies for cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, as well as protecting military personnel and civilians from “dirty bombs” or nuclear accidents.
“Understanding how WGP 3-6 enhances hematopoietic recovery is an important step towards maximizing its efficacy for pharmaceutical use,” said Jun Yan, M.D., Ph.D., corresponding author of this paper and an assistant professor in the Tumor Immunobiology Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. “WGP 3-6 plays a novel role in priming certain stem cells to injured bone marrow and promoting leukocyte recovery.”
The paper, “Beta-glucan enhances complement-mediated hematopoietic recovery after bone marrow injury” (Blood. 2005 Sep 22), examined the role of complement, a soluble blood protein, and complement receptor 3 (CR3) in bone marrow injury and repair. CR3 positive stem cells (hematopoietic progenitor cells) move to the site of injury, bind to injured bone marrow stromal cells via iC3b-CR3 axis and mature into new blood cells. WGP 3-6 enhances the proliferation of tethered stem cells, promoting white blood cell recovery. After 12 days, mice exposed to a sublethal dose of radiation and treated with WGP 3-6 had approximately 40% more cell formation units in the spleen than did untreated mice.
The acceleration of leukocyte recovery following radiation could potentially prevent significant morbidity and mortality as a result of opportunistic infections in the immune-weakened mice, the paper reported.
WGP 3-6 also significantly enhanced the survival of animals receiving a lethal dose of radiation after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Forty days following irradiation, approximately 30% of mice treated with WGP 3-6 survived compared with only 3% of the untreated animals.
Researchers are exploring further the signaling pathway of stem cells after yeast derived beta-glucan stimulation.
Funding for the study came from the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Army Breast Cancer Research Program, the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Board and Biothera.
About Biothera, the Immune Health Company
Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company's primary focus is developing pharmaceuticals whose unique mechanism of action engages immune cells not normally involved in the fight against cancer. In addition, Biothera’s healthcare group manufactures and markets food-grade immune-enhancing ingredients for the nutritional supplement, functional food, cosmetic and the animal feed and nutrition markets.
Biothera, the Immune Health Company