Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cyanobacteria were known to potentiate host immunity for undefined mechanisms. It is so far accepted that certain components of microbial origin serve as ligands for TLRs and cytoplasmic NOD-like receptors in host mac-rophages/dendritic cells, which are nidus for activation cascades of the host immune system. Many factors including cytokines (IL-12, IL-6, TNF and IL-18), costimulat-ors (CD80, CD86), and nitrogen oxide are up-regulated through Toll and cytoplasmic signaling, resulting in induction of cellular immunity.37-39 However, the routes for induction of mature dendritic cells that commit NK activation or CTL induction have not been identified.
The point is why Spirulina is chosen for this case. Spirulina has been used as a healthy drink or pills for 10 years without any problem. We tested the effect of Spirulina on NK activity and IFN gamma-inducing activity in volunteers more than 40 years old.4 The immune potentiating ability of Spirulina was revealed in this in vivo experiment. NK activation and IFN gamma production are enhanced after taking Spirulina and are continued for 12-24 weeks after stopping administration. This suggests the involvement of mucosal immunity in the Gut in Spirulina-mediated immune response.40 In vitro experiment using preparations of human dendritic cells and blood cells, the Spirulina NK activation is attributable to water-extractable factors that directly interact with NK cells.6 In addition, whole cell lysate of Spirulina contains factors that facilitate maturation of dendritic cells.25 The relevant molecules responsible for this immune potentiating ability should be identified to substantiate the immune therapy involving Spirulina.
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