1997 Volume 20 Issue 11 Pages 1178-1182
The effect of Astragali Radix (AR) on IgM antibody production in mice of various ages (10 weeks, 36 weeks and 60 weeks) was examined. The antibody production levels in the 36- and 60-week-old mice were significantly decreased to about 70 and 60% of that in the 10-week-old mice. The enhancement effect of a crude polysaccharide AR fraction on the antibody production was nil in the 10-week-old mice, but significant enhancement effects were observed in the 36- and 60-week-old, mice, compared to the age-matched control.Two polysaccharides active in the enhancement of the IgM antibody production in the aged mice were isolated from the high molecular weight fraction of AR by cetavlon precipitation, ion-exchange and gel permeation chromatography. The molecular masses of these polysaccharides were calculated by HPLC in salt solution. Only one major peak was observed for each, and their molecular masses were estimated to be 1.2×104 and 2.2×104.The major components of these polysaccharides were neutral carbohydrates (89.3 and 95.5%), followed by uronic acid and protein / glucose was the predominant sugar component.