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Marina crystal minerals (MCM) activate human dendritic cells to induce CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in vitro


Marina crystal minerals (MCM) are a mixture that contains crystallized minerals along with trace elements extracted from seawater. It is a nutritional supplement that is capable of enhancing natural killer (NK) cell activity and increasing T and B cell proliferation in humans post ingestion. However, its effect on dendritic cells (DCs), the cells that bridge innate and adaptive immunity, is not yet known. In this study, we examine the stimulatory effects of MCM on DCs' maturation and function in vitro. Human monocyte-derived DCs were treated with MCM at two different concentrations (10 and 20 µg/mL) for 24 h. Results showed that MCM treatment activated DCs in a dose-dependent fashion. It caused the upregulation of costimulatory molecules CD80, CD86, and HLA-DR, and prompted the production of DC cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-1β, and chemokines (monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)) and interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 (IP-10). In addition, activated DCs primed CD4+ T cells to secrete significant amounts of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and they also stimulated CD8+ T cells to express higher amounts of CD107a. These results indicate that MCM is a potentially powerful adjuvant, from natural materials, that activates human DCs in vitro and therefore may suggest its possible use in immune-based therapies against cancer and viral infections.

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