Planta Med 2002; 68(3): 237-243
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-23133
Original Paper
Natural Product Chemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Structural Features of an Immunostimulating and Antioxidant Acidic Polysaccharide from the Seeds of Cuscuta chinensis

Xingfeng Bao1 , Zhan Wang1, 2 , Jinian Fang1 , Xiaoyu Li1
  • 1Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
  • 2Present address: The Institute for Applied Biosciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Further Information

Publication History

March 16, 2001

August 4, 2001

Publication Date:
25 March 2002 (online)


Three crude polysaccharide fractions, named CS-A, CS-B and CS-C, were prepared from the seeds of Cuscuta chinensis by hot water extraction and diluted alkali extraction subsequently, then EtOH precipitation, and tested for lymphocyte proliferation activity. CS-A showed a stimulating effect on concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide induced mitogenic activity of lymphocytes. An acidic polysaccharide (CS-A-3β) was purified from CS-A by anion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. The polysaccharide showed potent stimulating effects on lymphocyte proliferation and antibody production, but did not significantly influence the serum IgG level. Its structural features were elucidated by methylation analysis, partial acid hydrolysis, 1D and 2D NMR and ESI-mass spectroscopy. The data obtained indicated that CS-A-3β had a backbone consisting of α-D-1,4-linked GalpA residues and β-L-1,2-linked Rhap residues with branches at C-4 of Rhap residues and C-3 of GalpA residues, composed of arabinogalactan and glucobiose. This structure is typical for a pectic polysaccharide of the rhamnogalacturonan type. In addition, the effect of CS-A, CS-B, CS-C and CS-A-3β on hydrogen peroxide induced cell lesion in rat pheochromocytoma line PC 12 was investigated. The results indicated that, besides its immunostimulating activity, CS-A-3β had a protective effect against free radical-induced cell toxicity.


Prof. Ji-nian Fang

Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica

Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences

Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Shanghai 200031

People’s Republic of China


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