Co-operative suppression of inflammatory responses in human dendritic cells by plant proanthocyanidins and products from the parasitic nematode Trichuris suis

Andrew R Williams, Elsenoor J Klaver, Lisa C Laan, Aina Ramsay, Christos Fryganas, Rolf Difborg, Helene Kringel, Jess D Reed, Irene Mueller-Harvey, Søren Skov, Irma van Die, Stig M Thamsborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Interactions between dendritic cells (DCs) and environmental, dietary and pathogen antigens play a key role in immune homeostasis and regulation of inflammation. Dietary polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins (PAC) may reduce inflammation, and we therefore hypothesized that PAC may suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -induced responses in human DCs and subsequent T helper type 1 (Th1) -type responses in naive T cells. Moreover, we proposed that, because DCs are likely to be exposed to multiple stimuli, the activity of PAC may synergise with other bioactive molecules that have anti-inflammatory activity, e.g. soluble products from the helminth parasite Trichuris suis (TsSP). We show that PAC are endocytosed by monocyte-derived DCs and selectively induce CD86 expression. Subsequently, PAC suppress the LPS-induced secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-12p70, while enhancing secretion of IL-10. Incubation of DCs with PAC did not affect lymphocyte proliferation; however, subsequent interferon-γ production was markedly suppressed, while IL-4 production was unaffected. The activity of PAC was confined to oligomers (degree of polymerization ≥ 4). Co-pulsing DCs with TsSP and PAC synergistically reduced secretion of tumour necrosis factor-α, IL-6 and IL-12p70 while increasing IL-10 secretion. Moreover, both TsSP and PAC alone induced Th2-associated OX40L expression in DCs, and together synergized to up-regulate OX40L. These data suggest that PAC induce an anti-inflammatory phenotype in human DCs that selectively down-regulates Th1 response in naive T cells, and that they also act cooperatively with TsSP. Our results indicate a novel interaction between dietary compounds and parasite products to influence immune function, and may suggest that combinations of PAC and TsSP can have therapeutic potential for inflammatory disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-328
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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