Open Access Research article

Immunological response in mice bearing LM3 breast tumor undergoing Pulchellin treatment

Djamile Cordeiro de Matos1, Lívia Carolina Abreu de Ribeiro1, Aline Tansini1, Lucas Souza Ferreira1, Marisa Campos Polesi Placeres1, Lucas Luis Colombo2 and Iracilda Zeppone Carlos13*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Clinical Immunology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, São Paulo State University, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Institute of Oncology Angel H. Roffo, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

3 Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rua Expedicionários do Brasil 1601, 14801-902, Araraquara, SP, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:107  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-107

Published: 24 July 2012



Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIP) have been studied in the search for toxins that could be used as immunotoxins for cancer treatment. Pulchellin, a type 2 RIP, is suggested to induce immune responses that have a role in controlling cancer.


The percentage of dendritic cells and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the spleen (flow cytometry), cytokines’ release by PECs and splenocytes (ELISA) and nitric oxide production by PECs (Griess assay) were determined from tumor-bearing mice injected intratumorally with 0.1 ml of pulchellin at 0.75 μg/kg of body weight. Statistical analysis was performed by one-way ANOVA with Tukey’s post hoc test.


Pulchellin-treated mice showed significant immune system activation, characterized by increased release of IFN-γ and Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10), while IL-6 and TGF-β levels were decreased. There was also an increase in macrophage’s activation, as denoted by the higher percentage of macrophages expressing adhesion and costimulatory molecules (CD54 and CD80, respectively).


Our results suggest that pulchellin is promising as an adjuvant in breast cancer treatment.

Pulchellin; Breast cancer; Cytokines; Immune system