Glucan-induced modification of murine viral hepatitis

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Science  04 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4439, pp. 67-69
DOI: 10.1126/science.7361108


Glucan, a macrophage stimulant, was evaluated for its ability to alter survival and phagocytic dysfunction in mice challenged with mouse hepatitis virus strain MHV-A59. Administration of glucan before the mice were challenged with the virus significantly prolonged median survival time but did not modify overall mortality compared with control mice given dextrose. Maximal effectiveness was achieved when glucan was administered both before and after the viral challenge. In contrast to the marked hepatic parenchymal cell necrosis observed in the control mice, glucan-treated mice exhibited reduced pathology. Intraperitoneal administration of MHV-A59 resulted in a significant depression of phagocytic activity compared with controls that were not exposed to the virus. The enhancement in phagocytic function in glucan-treated control mice was unaltered in virus-challenged, glucan-treated mice. Thus glucan is capable of increasing survival, inhibiting hepatic necrosis, and maintaining an activated state of phagocytic activity in mice challenged with MHV-A59. Macrophage stimulants may have a significant role in the modification of virally induced hepatic lesions.