Department of Biology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the mushroom Coriolus versicolor on cells of the immune system. The cultured mycelia of the mushroom Coriolus versicolor and their culture medium were separately extracted with boiling water. The resulting polysaccharopeptide preparations were designated intramycelial (IM) and extramycelial materials (EM), and were separated by gel filtration before determining their effects on lymphocytes and macrophages in vitro and in vivo. After gel filtration on Sepharose 6B, only a single peak with a molecular weight of 13-19 KDa was obtained. Gel filtration of IM and EM on Sephadex G-50 revealed the presence of a larger peak of 28 KDa (from IM) and 15 KDa (from EM) and a smaller peak of 3.5 KDa. IM, EM and their large molecular peaks enhanced the mitogenic response of T-cells from BALB/c mice in vitro. Splenocytes from C57BL/6 mice pre-treated by force-feeding with IM and EM demonstrated an augmented mitogenic response to Con A. The macrophages of C57BL/6 mice that had been pre-treated with IM or EM showed an enhanced production of nitrite ions. The results indicate that both mouse lymphocytes and macrophages were activated by preparations of polysaccharopeptide from cultured mycelia and culture medium of C. versicolor. However, no direct cytotoxic activity against fibroblasts, hepatoma cells and choriocarcinoma cells could be demonstrated.
PMID: 8697105 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]