Original Article

The novel α-glucan YCP improves the survival rates and symptoms in septic mice by regulating myeloidderived suppressor cells

Authors: Dan LIU, Ming YOU, Guang-feng ZHAO, Xiu-jun LI, Yu-xian SONG, Huan DOU, Wen-bing YAO, Xiang-dong GAO, Ya-yi HOU


Sepsis is a life-threatening health condition that is initially characterized by uncontrolled inflammation, followed by the development of persistent immunosuppression. YCP is a novel α-glucan purified from the mycelium of the marine fungus Phoma herbarum YS4108, which has displayed strong antitumor activity via enhancing host immune responses. In this study, we investigated whether YCP could influence the development of sepsis in a mouse model. Caecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis was established in mice that were treated with YCP (20 mg/kg, ip or iv) 2 h before, 4 and 24 h after the CLP procedure, and then every other day. YCP administration greatly improved the survival rate (from 39% to 72% on d 10 post-CLP) and ameliorated disease symptoms in the septic mice. Furthermore, YCP administration significantly decreased the percentage of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the lungs and livers, which were dramatically elevated during sepsis. In cultured BM-derived cells, addition of YCP (30, 100 μg/mL) significantly decreased the expansion of MDSCs; YCP dose-dependently decreased the phosphorylation of STAT3 and increased the expression of interferon regulatory factor-8 (IRF-8). When BM-derived MDSCs were co-cultured with T cells, YCP dose-dependently increased the production of arginase-1 (Arg-1) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and activated the NF-κB pathway. In addition, the effects of YCP on MDSCs appeared to be dependent on toll-like receptor (TLR) 4. These results reveal that YCP inhibits the expansion of MDSCs via STAT3 while enhancing their immunosuppressive function, partially through NF-κB. Our findings suggest that YCP protects mice against sepsis by regulating MDSCs. Thus, YCP may be a potential therapeutic agent for sepsis.