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Unravelling the therapeutic intervention of inflammation and cancer by Viscum album : understanding its anti-inflammatory and immunostimulatory properties

Abstract : Viscum album (VA) preparations, commonly known as European mistletoe, are frequentlyused as complementary therapy in cancer, mainly to improve quality of life of the patients andto reduce the tumor growth. They are known to exert anti-tumoral effects. There is increasing evidence of the convoluted connection of cancer and inflammation. As cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2)-induced prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) plays a key role in the inflammation, I explored the regulation of COX-2-PGE2 axis by VA and underlying mechanisms. I found that VA exerts anti-inflammatory effects by selectively inhibiting COX-2 expression and ensuing PGE2 production. Inhibition of COX-2 expression implicates COX-2 mRNA destabilisation. In addition to their cytotoxic properties, they have also been shown to have immunostimulatory properties. Each VA preparations are highly heterogeneous because oftheir chemical composition which varies depending on the time of harvest, species of host treeand manufacturing methods, together which might influence clinical efficacy of VA.Therefore I performed a comparative study involving five different preparations of VA concerning maturation and activation of dendritic cells (DCs) which in turn may manifestanti-tumoral immune response. Results showed that among all five preparations, VA Qu Spez significantly induces DC activation, secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, Il-8 and TNF-α, enhancing IFN-γ production hence promoting Th1 immune response. The orchestration of myelomonocytic cell function is a key element that links inflammation and cancer and provides a paradigm for macrophage plasticity and function. My study reveals the effect of VA Qu Spez in switching the M2 macrophages which are known to participate inpolarizing Th2 responses, help with parasite clearance, dampen inflammation, promote tissue remodelling and tumor progression and have immunoregulatory functions, towards classicallyactivated M1 macrophages which are part of a polarized Th1 response and mediate resistance13to intracellular pathogens and tumors and elicit tissue-disruptive reactions. These results together should assist in understanding the anti-inflammatory and immunostimulatory properties of VA preparations and further research is warranted to improve the therapeutic strategies of use of VA and their role as complimentary therapy in cancer.
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Chaitrali Saha. Unravelling the therapeutic intervention of inflammation and cancer by Viscum album : understanding its anti-inflammatory and immunostimulatory properties. Biotechnology. Université de Technologie de Compiègne, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015COMP2210⟩. ⟨tel-01214953⟩

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