The Influence of PSP on the Behavior and Growth of the Fetus in Rats

Zheng-de Zhang1, Zhen-bin Qian2, Lan-feng Zhou2 and Bin Xu1 1 Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Academia Sinica 2 Department of Toxicology, Shanghai Institute of Labour Health and Occupational Diseases


PSP is a new immunomodulating agent prepared and developed by Professor Qing-yao Yang. In the present work its influence on the behavior and growth of fetus in 1st and 2nd generation of rats was investigated.

For behavior study the squirrel wheel test, rotating cylinder test and passive avoidance test were performed, PSP was administered orally at 60, 600 and 6000mg/kg. The results showed that no marked difference in the change of behavior was found between the control and treatment groups. The brain weights of two-generation rats had no marked change either.

For teratogeny test 110 rats were involved PSP was administered orally at 60, 600 and 6000mg/kg in different groups for 10 days. The conditions of the maternal body, embryonic survival and the function and growth of the fetuses were examined. After statistical tests no marked difference was observed in the control and treatment groups.

The data observed showed that PSP has no noticeable toxicity on fetus growth and on the behavioral performance of 1st and 2nd generation rats.

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Informatioin Office of the Research Institute of Fungi Shanghai Teachers University

PSP and PSK are the 2 products of Yun Zhi ratified by Chinese Ministry of Public Health and Japanese Ministry of Public Health respectively.

PSK was first manufactured by Kureha Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. The PS in PSK represents polysaccharide and K represents the first alphabet of the name of this Company. It was originally written as PS-K and was later changed to PSK. o; The commercial name of the product is Krestin.

PSP was prepared by Professor Qing-yao Yang. It is like PSK and is also a kind of compound polysaccharide. On the molecules of the polysaccharide, the small molecular protein (polypeptide) is connected. So it is called Yun Zhi Duo Tang Tai or Yun Zhi Tang Tai. The Tang Tai English names were originally glycopeptide, proteoglucan, glycosaminoglucan, etc. But the polysaccharide is all composed of N-acetyl-amino-hexose. But the polysaccharides of PSP and PSK are not composed of N-acetylamino-hexose. So it is not suitable to use the name. So the word “polysaccharopeptide” or “polysaccharide-peptide” is used and is abbreviated as PSP or Ps-p.

According to the different degrees of extraction, there are a series of PSP products. PSP directly extracted from the mycelia of Yun Zhi is called Yun Zhi Polysaccharide-peptide (Trade mark Qing Kang) and PSP polysacchardie-peptide (Landford). The former is sold on the market of Mainland China and the latter is according to the export specifications and is sold overseas. These 2 products are mainly used for tumorous patients.

The essence of the product is obtained by further isolation of the crude product. It is called Essence of Mushroom (Yun Zhi) (The sole distributor is Winsor Health Products Ltd., Hong Kong) used for healthy purposes.

Japan is quite specialized in the research of Yun Zhi. Besides PSK, Hirose, S. et al, (1970), Naruse S. and Takeda S. (in 1970) and Sugiura M. (in 1980) isolated two anticancerous components of the mycelia of Yun Zhi respectively. The former is called

ASTO and latter D–II. In addition, Ito H. et al (in 1974) extracted from the fermented mash of Yun Zhi an anti-tumor component which does not contain protein and it is called Coriolan. Its chemical components are glucans (by Hayashida S. et al, in 1992). But the above-mentioned three components still remain in the process of pharmacological research and was not used in clinical application.

Though PSP and PSK are all a kind of protein bound polysaccharide and are all extracted from the deep layer cultivated mycelia, yet they use the different strains, fermented medium and different extracted methods. Thus there is a certain difference between PSP and PSK. It is known that in the polysaccharide of PSP there is fucose, while there is no fucose in PSP, which contains arabinose and rhamnose; while there are no such ingredients in PSK. On the other hand, according to the pharmacological and clinical research, PSP has the definite effect of alleviating pain and increasing appetite, while there is no such report on PSK. Comparison of Two Characterisitics of PSP and PSK

Items compared




Yun Zhi Coriolus versicolor (Fr.) Quel

PSP: Cov-1 strain PSK: CM-101 strain

Drug produced

PSP: capsule PSK: loose package

Powder color


PSP: brown PSK: dark brown

Raw materials

deep-layer cultivated mycelia (2N)

Fermentation technology

with glucose as the main carbon source (25oC, 3 days)

PSP: nitrogenous source: soya beancake powder PSK: nitrogenous source: peptone and yeast cake

Extract and isolate

obtained by immersion in hot water

PSP: isolate by alcoholic precipitation PSK: isolate by salting out with (NH4)2SO4

Medicinal ingredients

protein bound polysaccharide; average molecular wt. 1 x 105 Da the polysaccharide is formed from many monosaccahrides containing

PSP: polysaccharides contain arabinose and rhmanose, but no fucose PSK: polysaccharides do not

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Anticancerous Effect of PSP Purified Products and KS-2 on Human Tumor Cell Lines in Vitro

Liang-zhong Xu, Jun Han and Gang Chen Laboratory of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Shanghai Medical University


The anticancer effects of PSP purified products, PSP-A, PSP-B, PSP-C and crude product PSP-Cr and KS-2 were compared on four human tumor cell lines in vitro. It was found that the inhibition rate of cell proliferation of PSP-A was higher than that of PSP-Cr, PSP-B and PSP-C (P<0.05). On SPC cells, the inhibition rate of PSP-A at a dosage of 1000ug/ml was 62.7%, being the highest as compared with those on the other three cell lines.

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Antitumor Effect of Polysaccharide Peptide of Coriolus versicolor (PSP) and its Mechanism

Jin-Xu Zhou, Xin-li Shen, Zu-ming Shen, Xiao-yu Li Department of Pharmacology I Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031


Polysaccharide peptide of Coriolus versicolor (PSP) is a new anti-tumor and immunomodulating drug. In this paper PSP showed direct inhibition on the cell proliferation of sarcoma 180 in vitro and inhibitory effect on the growth of murine sarcoma 180 in vivo. Owing to its direct cytotoxic effect was not strong, but at lower concentrations (10-20ug/ml) of PSP promoted the proliferation of T and pre-T cells of mouse thymus, increased the thymus weight, provided more number of lymphocytes, prevented the involuation of thymus in tumor bearing mice and antagonized the anti-tumor action of PSP combined with antilymphocyte serum. It is suggested the principal mechanism of anti-tumor activity of PSP was T-cell mediated cytotoxicity.

It has been known that some polysaccharides and polysaccharide peptide isolated from various natural sources, especially isolated from Basiodiomycetes have certain anti-tumor activities. The polysaccharide contained a main chain of an alpha and beta (1-4) glucan and a tightly bound 15-38% polypeptides (PSP) isolated from Coriolus versicolor (Fr) Quel. (Cov-1) by Professor Qing-yao Yang also exhibited antitumor action against mouse sarcoma 180 in vitro and in vivo. Recent experiments suggest three possible mechanism by which these PSP might act: (1) Potentiating of T-cell mediated cytotoxicity which killed more number of target-tumor cells. (2) Definite concentration of PSP produced direct cytotoxic activity in vitro. (3) Induction of tumorcidal macrophages killed more cancer cells. In this paper the antitumor action of PSP and its possible mechanism are reported

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Clinical Experience in the Use of PSP

W.C. Xue and T.F. Liu Cancer Hospital, Shanghai Medical University

There is no really effective treatment for moderate and advanced stages of esophageal carcinoma. Although surgery for the earlier cases has been able to give a 5 years survival rate of 28.7%, such operable cases are relatively few. By far the greater majority are already in stage III to IV when first seen in the clinic, and radiotherapy alone in these cases has given a 5 years survival rate of only 8-14%. In order to improve treatment results, a variety of chemotherapeutic agents have been used in combination surgery, but so far no really effective drug has been found.

The drug PSP (polysaccharide-peptide of Coriolus versicolor) has been discovered and produced by Professor Qing-yao Yang of. It is a new anti-cancer and immuno-regulatory drug, similar to PSK (Krestin) but the effective component has been found to be larger than PSK. Experimental data has proved these properties of PSP, and in vitro as well as in vivo studies have all proved that PSP is superior to PSK. Of course, as is the case with all new drugs, the ultimate proof of its value will have to be shown by clinical application.

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