Effects of Pectic Polysaccharides Isolated from Leek on the Production of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species by Phagocytes
The current survey investigates the effect of four polysaccharides isolated from fresh leek or alcohol insoluble substances (AIS) of leek on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) from phagocytes. The ability of the polysaccharides to activate serum complement was also investigated. Despite the lack of antioxidant activity, the pectic polysaccharides significantly decreased the production of ROS by human neutrophils. Polysaccharides isolated from AIS markedly activated RAW 264.7 macrophages for RNS production in a concentration-dependent manner. The Western blot analysis revealed that this effect was due to the stimulation of the inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression of macrophages. The polysaccharides extracted from AIS with water showed the ability to fix serum complement, especially through the alternative pathway. It was found that the polysaccharide that has the highest complement-fixing effect is characterized by the highest content of uronic acids and the highest molecular weight.