Springer Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 387–400 | Cite as

Update on the immunomodulating activities of glucans

  • Nicholas R. Di Luzio


The extensive and varied reviews regarding the broad spectrum activity of the immunopharmacologic activities of glucans demonstrate the growing interest in these unique molecules. Since the end metabolite is glucose, a new dimension in pharmacology and therapeutics employing this unique molecule is clearly incidated.

At present Krestin is a prescription drug in Japan with both lentinan and Schizophyllan soon to be introduced for the treatment of neoplasia. In the US, clinical studies employing our glucans are presently underway. Mannozym, a glucan-mannan complex, is extensively employed in Hungary and Russia, while soluble yeast glucan is under clinical investigation in Czechoslovakia. In contrast to all of the previously employed immunomodulators such as BCG,C. parvum, MER, pyran copolymer, glucans have few toxic side effects and equivalent or greater immunopharmacologic activities.

Based upon the previously presented data and extensive reviews, as well s current findings from a variety of laboratories, it is clear that glucans are a unique class of immunomodulators and adjuvants with significant clinical potential in infectious diseases, neoplasia, radiation recovery, vaccine development, and control of hemopoeitic activity. While signficant research is clearly yet to be undertaken regarding the most appropriate clinial employment of glucans, the possible applications in clinical as well as agricultural medicine are both numerous and obvious. Additionally, glucans should be effectively employed in defining the relative contribution of various host cells and their secretory products in host defense mechanisms.


Pyran Glucan Spectrum Activity Vaccine Development Secretory Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas R. Di Luzio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyTulane University, School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

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