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vol. 51
Original paper

The effects of β-glucan isolated from Pleurotus ostreatus on the development of arthritis and methotrexate treatment in rats with adjuvant arthritis

Jozef Rovenský
Mária Stančíková
Karol Švík
Katarína Bauerová
Jana Jurčovičová

Reumatologia 2013; 51, 4: 277-283
Online publish date: 2013/09/11
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Aim of the study: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of β-(1,3/1,6)-D-glucan isolated from mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (β-glucan-PO) on the preventive treatment and therapy of adjuvant arthritis (AA) and methotrexate (MTX) treatment in rats.

Material and methods: Groups of rats with AA were preventively treated with methotrexate (1 mg/kg/week), β-glucan-PO (1 mg/kg every second day) or their combination for a period of 28 days from adjuvant application. Methotrexate and β-glucan-PO (15 mg/kg every day) were also applied therapeutically from day 13 to day 35 after immunization. Body mass, hind paw swelling, arthrogram scores, and the level of serum albumin were measured as markers of inflammation and arthritis.

Results: Preventive treatment with a low dose of MTX significantly inhibited the markers of both inflammation and arthritis. Methotrexate and its combination with β-glucan-PO significantly increased the body mass of arthritic rats. β-glucan-PO administered alone had no effect on body mass but significantly decreased both the hind paw swelling and arthritic score. In combination with MTX, β-glucan-PO markedly potentiated the beneficial effects of MTX, which resulted in a more significant reduction of hind paw swelling and arthritic scores. The concentration of albumin in the serum of arthritic controls was significantly lower than in the healthy controls. Both MTX alone and the combination treatment with MTX + β-glucan-PO significantly inhibited the decrease of serum albumin. Therapeutically, MTX had no significant effect on the markers of inflammation and arthritis. β-glucan-PO alone in a high dose (15 mg/kg body mass) inhibited hand paw swelling, arthrogram scores, and the decrease of serum albumin.

Conclusions: β-glucan-PO alone positively affected both the development and treatment of adjuvant arthritis in rats and increased the efficacy of basal treatment with MTX. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis this immunomodulator may prevent secondary infections and restore impaired immunological homeostasis.

β-glucan, methotrexate, adjuvant arthritis

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