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Cytotoxic, Antitumor and Immunomodulatory Effects of the Water-Soluble Polysaccharides from Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) Seeds

College of Food Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Fujian Academy of Agriculture Sciences, Fuzhou 350003, China
Faculty of Pharmacy, Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi, Universitatii Street, No. 16, Iasi 700115, Romania
Department of Chemical Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Universiti Bandar Barat, Kampar 31900, Perak, Malaysia
Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maurizio Battino
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1465;
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
PDF [4601 KB, uploaded 2 November 2016]


Lotus is an edible and medicinal plant, and the extracts from its different parts exhibit various bioactivities. In the present study, the hot water–soluble polysaccharides from lotus seeds (LSPS) were evaluated for their cancer cell cytotoxicity, immunomodulatory and antitumor activities. LSPS showed significant inhibitory effects on the mouse gastric cancer MFC cells, human liver cancer HuH-7 cells and mouse hepatocarcinoma H22 cells. The animal studies showed that LSPS inhibited tumor growth in H22 tumor-bearing mice with the highest inhibition rate of 45.36%, which is comparable to that induced by cyclophosphamide (30 mg/kg) treatment (50.79%). The concentrations of white blood cells were significantly reduced in cyclophosphamide-treated groups (p < 0.01), while LSPS showed much fewer side effects according to the hematology analysis. LSPS improved the immune response in H22 tumor-bearing mice by enhancing the spleen and thymus indexes, and increasing the levels of serum cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-2. Moreover, LSPS also showed in vivo antioxidant activity by increasing superoxide dismutase activity, thus reducing the malondialdehyde level in the liver tissue. These results suggested that LSPS can be used as an antitumor and immunomodulatory agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: lotus seeds; polysaccharides; antitumor; immunomodulatory lotus seeds; polysaccharides; antitumor; immunomodulatory

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Zheng, Y.; Wang, Q.; Zhuang, W.; Lu, X.; Miron, A.; Chai, T.-T.; Zheng, B.; Xiao, J. Cytotoxic, Antitumor and Immunomodulatory Effects of the Water-Soluble Polysaccharides from Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) Seeds. Molecules 2016, 21, 1465.

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