Rhamnogalacturonan I-rich fractions from cherry tomatoes stimulate phagocytosis in RAW 264.7 macrophages

  • Hwang, Dahyun (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Life and Health Sciences, Hoseo University) ;
  • Lim, Young-Hee (Department of Public Health Science (BK21 PLUS Program), Graduate School, Korea University) ;
  • Shin, Kwang-Soon (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kyonggi University) ;
  • Koh, Jong-Ho (Department of Bio-Food Analysis, Bio-campus, Korea Polytechnics College)
  • Received : 2019.05.24
  • Accepted : 2019.05.28
  • Published : 2019.06.30


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is widely known for its beneficial effects on human health. To investigate the beneficial effects of polysaccharides from cherry tomato, cherry tomato polysaccharides (CTP) were prepared, the component sugars were analyzed, and the immunomodulatory activities in RAW 264.7 macrophages were assessed. CTP mainly contained arabinose (Ara) and galactose (Gal), suggesting that CTP might be enriched with an arabinogalactan (AG) moiety. The Ara and Gal present in CTP are likely components of AG-II (35.4%), namely $arabino-{\beta}-(3,6)-galactan$. To investigate the immunomodulatory activity of CTP, cytokine levels and iNOS2, COX-2, and $NF-{\kappa}B$ protein levels were analyzed, and $NF-{\kappa}B$ nuclear translocation and phagocytosis were observed by immunofluorescence. CTP significantly increased the levels of $TNF-{\alpha}$, MCP-1, and IL-6. CTP also increased iNOS2 and COX-2 expression as well as $NF-{\kappa}B$ nuclear translocation in RAW 264.7 cells. CTP significantly stimulated phagocytosis activity. These results showed that CTP stimulates macrophage activity, which can boost the innate immune response. CTP with high AG-II content could be used as a prebiotic to strengthen immunity.

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Fig. 1. Single radial gel diffusion (A) and reactivity (B) between β-glucosyl Yariv reagent and CTP.

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Fig. 2. Nitric oxide (NO) and cytokine production in CTP-treated RAW 264.7 cells.

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Fig. 3. mRNA and protein expression levels of iNOS2 and COX-2.

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Fig. 4. Western blot analysis of NF-κB (A) and quantified (B) in CTP-treated RAW 264.7 cells and immunofluorescence of the nuclear translocation of NF-κB (p65) by confocal (C).

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Fig. 5. Phagocytic activity in CTP-treated RAW 264.7 cells was analyzed by confocal microscopy (A) and the activity was quantified using EZ-C1 software (B).

Table 1. Chemical composition of CTP

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