Lentinan diminishes apoptotic bodies in the ileal crypts associated with S-1 administration
S-1 is an oral agent containing tegafur (a prodrug of 5-fluorouracil) that is used to treat various cancers, but adverse effects are frequent. Two pilot clinical studies have suggested that lentinan (LNT; β-1,3-glucan) may reduce the incidence of adverse effects caused by S-1 therapy. In this study, we established a murine model for assessment of gastrointestinal toxicity associated with S-1 and studied the effect of LNT. S-1 was administered orally to BALB/c mice at the effective dose (8.3 mg/kg, as tegafur equivalent) once daily (5 days per week) for 3 weeks. Stool consistency and intestinal specimens were examined. We investigated the effect of combined intravenous administration of LNT at 0.1 mg, which is an effective dose in murine tumor models. We also investigated the effect of a single administration of S-1. During long-term administration of S-1, some mice had loose stools and an increase in apoptotic bodies was observed in the ileal crypts. An increase in apoptotic bodies was also noted after a single administration of S-1 (15 mg/kg). Prior or concomitant administration of LNT inhibited the increase in apoptotic bodies in both settings. Administration of LNT also increased the accumulation of CD11b+TIM-4+ cells in the ileum, while depletion of these cells by liposomal clodronate diminished the inhibitory effect of LNT on S-1 toxicity. Combined administration of LNT with S-1 led to a decrease in apoptotic bodies in the ileal crypts, possibly because LNT promoted phagocytosis of damaged cells by CD11b+TIM-4+ cells.