Enhancement of radioprotection and anti-tumor immunity by yeast-derived β-glucan in mice

Yeun Hwa Gu, Yasuyuki Takagi, Takashi Nakamura, Takeo Hasegawa, Ikukatsu Suzuki, Masami Oshima, Hitoshi Tawaraya, Yoshimi Niwano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Intraperitoneal injection of β-glucan was shown to greatly delay mortality in mice exposed to whole-body X-ray radiation and tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Since the leukocyte and lymphocyte numbers were increased by a single dose of β-glucan, the radioprotective effect of β-glucan is probably mediated, at least in part, by a hemopoietic action in irradiated mice. In addition, both natural killer (NK) and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) activities were significantly increased by repeated doses of β-glucan. Augmented immunological activity as seen in increased NK and LAK activity by β-glucan seems to play a role in preventing secondary infections associated with irradiation, and probably contributes to the attenuated tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice through enhanced anti-tumor immunity. These results suggest that β-glucan may be a promising adjunct treatment for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 1


  • Anti-tumor effect
  • Radioprotective effect
  • β-glucan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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