Masson Pine pollen (Pinus massoniana) activate HD11 chicken macrophages in vitro

Daniel Brugger, Belinda Wilhelm, Benjamin Schusser, Nicolas Gisch, Julia Matthes, Jie Zhao, Wilhelm Windisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Masson Pine pollen (Pinus massoniana; MP) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gut conditions. Early in vivo work supports this claim and suggests interaction of the material with the gastrointestinal immune system. Aim of the study: The present study tested if and how MP material activates HD11 chicken macrophages in vitro using material from different production sites and harvest years. Material & methods: We applied twelve batches of MP from different Chinese production sites and harvest years. Materials were subjected to LAL tests (endotoxic activity), GC-MS (fatty acid analysis), and plate techniques (microbiological background, antimicrobial activity). Furthermore, HD11 chicken macrophages were challenged (6 h, 37 °C) with MP or LPS (E. coli O111:B4), respectively, to quantify nitric oxide (NO) production and immune gene expression (RT-qPCR). Results: MP material promoted strong signals in LAL tests and contained significant amounts of 3-hydroxydodecanoic acid and 3-hydroxymyristic acid, irrespective of processing, harvest year, or origin. The pollen material activated HD11 chicken macrophages, which was confirmed by spikes of NO release and k-means cluster analysis of TLR-signaling pathway gene expression data. Response of NO production to Log2-titration of MP and LPS-treated media was in any case linear and significant. The response was reduced by polymyxin-B (PMB) and the inhibition was twice as strong for LPS than MP. No or minor microbiological background was detected on the majority of MP samples. Three samples showed presence of spoilage microorganisms and Gram-negative bacteria, but this did not correlate to LAL data or bacterial DNA counts. No antimicrobial activity of MP was evident. Conclusion: Pollen of the Masson Pine activated HD11 chicken macrophages in vitro, which is likely partially due to a background of bacterial LPS associated with the pollen material. However, as most of the effect (appr. 80%) could not be blocked by PMB this is certainly due to other stimuli. We hypothesize that polysaccharides and oligosaccharides of the pollen matrix have the potential to interact with certain immune receptors presented on the plasma membrane of chicken macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117870
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume325
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 May 2024

Keywords

  • Gut health
  • Immune system
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

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