Immunomodulating effects of food compounds : a study using the THP-1 cell line

Chanput, W.


THP-1 is a human leukaemia monocytic cell line from the peripheral blood of a 1 year old human male. After exposure to phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), THP-1 cells in monocyte state start to adhere to culture plates and alter their morphology with an indication for differentiation into macrophages. In this thesis, the THP-1 cell line was used in both monocyte and macrophage state. The results obtained during this in vitro study show that THP-1 gene expression can be modulated by specific food compounds such as β-glucans, pectin, polyphenols and fungal immunomodulatory proteins (FIPs) in both activation and resting stage. In activation stage, these cells have been activated by LPS to mimic an inflammatory situation, while in resting stage, PMAdifferentiated THP-1 macrophages without LPS challenged was used. The polarizing ability of the THP-1 cell line into either classically activated M1 or alternatively activated M2 macrophages was examined using stimuli applied in vivo. Based on the expression of M1 and M2 marker genes, THP- 1 macrophages could be successfully polarized into both M1 and M2 stage. Thereby, they can be used as a new macrophage polarizing model to estimate the polarizing/switching ability of test compounds. The integration of results from this thesis with a review of recent publications leads to the conclusion that THP-1 cells present unique characteristics as a model to investigate/estimate immunomodulating effects of food-derived compounds in both activated and resting situations.