Our goal is to prove that echinacea, along with beta glucan will be a safe, effective and affordable treatment for stimunlating macrophages without non-specifically activating b-cells. Previous research backs the use of echinacea for stimulating the innate immune responce

Our goal for this lab was to ascertain whether b -Glucan,(Beta Glucan) an alternate therapy with known ability to known stimulant of macrophages, is safe to administer to AIDS sufferers in third world countries who cannot afford the current treatment. While over use of any drug can sometimes cause people to develop allergies to the drug. However, we are searching for a much more serious problem.

Because of its chemical structure it is possible that Beta Glucan can might non-specifically activate B cells. Non specific activation of B cells is thought to be one way to trigger autoimmune disease. If this occurs the affects can be lethal.

In this study we test the ability of sterile purified B-Glucan to activate B cells to proliferate and to produce polyclonal IgM. As a positive control we use bacterial endotoxin (LPS) which both activates macrophages (as B-glucan does) and causes nonspecific B cell activation. As a negative control we will be using Echinacea which we know activates macrophages but does not activate B cells.

The results show that B-glucan does not polyclonally activate B cells to proliferate or pruduce IgM and thus is unlikely to trigger autoimmune disease.

Introduction: The Immune system is a complex system. It has specialized organs, cells, and even a separate system for lymphatic circulation. The organs in the immune system are called the lymphoid organs. Lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes and part of this separate circulatory system. The vessels transport lymph (Lymph, in Greek, means a pure, clear stream), a clear liquid containing white blood cells. Lymph percolates through the body's tissues, and the lymphatic vessels collect and move it into the blood circulation. The immune circulatory system works closely with blood circulation. Lymph nodes are spread out over the network of lymphatic vessels and are meeting places for immune cells that fight infections. The spleen is also an important place for fighting infection.. Lymphoid tissue can be found in most areas of the body, including bone marrow, thymus, tonsils, adenoids, Peyer`s patches and appendix. Immune systems cells and foreign molecules enter the lymph nodes via blood vessels or lymphatic vessels. All Immune system cells (including B cells and Macrophages) eventually exit and re-enter the blood stream were they are transported to the different areas of the body and are always on look out for foreign antigens.

Activation of macrophages is the best way to deal with T,B therefore there is a great deal of interest in these cells as potential targets of immune enhancement. B- Glucan is a cheap alternative therapy that has been suggested to activate these cells. There is a real potential that this could be used in poor countries for wide spread control of TB. However, for reason described below, there is a possibility that in activating these important macrophage cells the B-Glucan might also cause problems by non-specifically activating B cells

Growing a Cure: Echinacea and Beta Glucan