Effects of polysaccharide peptide (PSP) from Coriolus versicolor on the pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide in the rat and cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells.

Chan SL, Yeung JH.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China. cslkel@hotmail.com

Polysaccharide peptide (PSP), isolated from Coriolus versicolor COV-1, has been shown to restore the immunological effects against cyclophosphamide-induced immuno-suppression, although the mechanism(s) involved remain uncertain. This study investigated the PSP-cyclophosphamide interaction by studying the effects of PSP on the pharmacokinetic of cyclophosphamide in the rat and the effect of PSP on the cytotoxic effects of cyclophosphamide on a cancer cell line (HepG2 cells). In the pharmacokinetic studies in the rat, acute pre-treatment of PSP (4 micromol/kg/day, i.p.) decreased the clearance (CL) of cyclophosphamide by 31%, with a concomitant increase in the area under concentration-time curve (AUC) by 44%, and prolongation of the plasma half-life (T(1/2)) by 43%. Sub-chronic pre-treatment of PSP (2 micromol/kg/day, i.p., 3 days) decreased the CL of cyclophosphamide by 33%, with a concomitant increase in the AUC by 50%, and prolongation of the plasma T(1/2) by 34%. In cytotoxicity studies using HepG2 cells, non-toxic dose of PSP (1-10 microM) enhanced the cytotoxicity of cyclophosphamide. PSP at 10 microM further decreased HepG2 cell viability by 22% compared to when cyclophosphamide was present alone. In summary, PSP enhanced the cytotoxic effect of cyclophosphamide on a cancer cell line in vitro and altered the pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide in vivo in the rat. Both of these effects may be beneficial in the use of PSP as an adjunct to cyclophosphamide treatment.

(Click here for detail)

Induction of cell cycle changes and modulation of apoptogenic/anti-apoptotic and extracellular signaling regulatory protein expression by water extracts of I’m-Yunity™ (PSP)

Published: 11 September 2006
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:30 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-30
Received: 13 April 2006
Accepted: 11 September 2006
This article is available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/6/30
© 2006 Hsieh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background: I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) is a mushroom extract derived from deep-layer cultivated mycelia of the patented Cov-1 strain of Coriolus versicolor (CV), which contains as its main bioactive ingredient a family of polysaccharo-peptide with heterogeneous charge properties and molecular sizes. I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) is used as a dietary supplement by cancer patients and by individuals diagnosed with various chronic diseases. Laboratory studies have shown that I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) enhances immune functions and also modulates cellular responses to external challenges. Recently, I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) was also reported to exert potent anti-tumorigenic effects, evident by suppression of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in malignant cells. We investigate the mechanisms by which I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) elicits these effects.


Methods: Human leukemia HL-60 and U-937 cells were incubated with increasing doses of aqueous extracts of I’m-Yunity™ (PSP). Control and treated cells were harvested at various times and analyzed for changes in: (1) cell proliferation and viability, (2) cell cycle phase transition, (3) induction of apoptosis, (4) expression of cell cycle, apoptogenic/anti-apoptotic, and extracellular regulatory proteins.


Results: Aqueous extracts of I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in HL- 60 and U-937 cells, accompanied by a cell type-dependent disruption of the G1/S and G2/M phases of cell cycle progression. A more pronounced growth suppression was observed in treated HL-60 cells, which was correlated with time- and dose-dependent down regulation of the retinoblastoma protein Rb, diminution in the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins bcl-2 and survivin, increase in apoptogenic proteins bax and cytochrome c, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) from its native 112-kDa form to the 89-kDa truncated product. Moreover, I’m-Yunity™ (PSP)-treated HL-60 cells also showed a substantial decrease in p65 and to a lesser degree p50 forms of transcription factor NF-?B, which was accompanied by a reduction in the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) also elicited an increase in STAT1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription) and correspondingly, decrease in the expression of activated form of ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase).


Conclusion: Aqueous extracts of I’m-Yunity™ (PSP) induces cell cycle arrest and alterations in the\ expression of apoptogenic/anti-apoptotic and extracellular signaling regulatory proteins in human leukemia cells, the net result being suppression of proliferation and increase in apoptosis. These findings may contribute to the reported clinical and overall health effects of I’m-Yunity™ (PSP).

(Click here for detail)