Definition / meaning of polysaccharide-K

A protein-bound polysaccharide derived from the mushroom Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail) with immunoadjuvant and potential antitumor activities. Although its mechanism of action has yet to be fully elucidated, in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that polysaccharide-K induces peripheral blood monocyte secretion of IL-8 and TNF-alpha, induces T cell proliferation, and prevents cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression. This agent has also been reported to stimulate macrophages to produce reactive nitrogen intermediates and superoxide anions and to promote apoptosis in the promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60.

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The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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