Mushrooms have traditionally been valued in Asia for their nutritional and medicinal qualities. The Coriolus versicolor or “Turkey Tail” mushroom has been investigated in numerous laboratory, animal and human clinical studies. Most of these studies have demonstrated that it does appear to have significant antimicrobial, antiviral and antitumor properties when used as a supplement to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Human trials have included randomization, a process that decreases bias, but only one has used blinding, which would make them even more protected against biases.
The anti-cancer and immune stimulating properties of Coriolus versicolor have been attributed to two extracts from its cultured mycelium (thread-like extensions). These extracts are both protein-bound polysaccharides known as polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP). Hot water is required to extract these active components.
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Van den Bulcke J, Boone M, Van Acker J, Van Hoorebeke L.
Laboratory of Wood Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium. Jan.VandenBulcke@UGent.be
As wood is prone to fungal degradation, fundamental research is necessary to increase our knowledge aiming at product improvement. Several imaging modalities are capable of visualizing fungi, but the X-ray equipment presented in this article can envisage fungal mycelium in wood nondestructively in three dimensions with submicron resolution. Four types of wood subjected to the action of the white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor (Linnaeus) Quélet (CTB 863 A) were scanned using an X-ray-based approach. Comparison of wood volumes before and after fungal exposure, segmented manually or semiautomatically, showed the presence of the fungal mass on and in the wood samples and therefore demonstrated the usefulness of computed X-ray tomography for mycological and wood research. Further improvements to the experimental setup are necessary to resolve individual hyphae and enhance segmentation.
PMID: 19709462 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Ascough PL, Sturrock CJ, Bird MI.
SUERC, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
We present the results of a study testing the response of two saprophytic white-rot fungi species, Pleurotus pulmonarius and Coriolus versicolor, to charred biomass (charcoal) as a growth substrate. We used a combination of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, elemental abundance measurements, and isotope ratio mass spectrometry ((13)C and (15)N) to investigate fungal colonisation of control and incubated samples of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood, and charcoal from the same species produced at 300 degrees C and 400 degrees C. Both species of fungi colonise the surface and interior of wood and charcoals over time periods of less than 70 days; however, distinctly different growth forms are evident between the exterior and interior of the charcoal substrate, with hyphal penetration concentrated along lines of structural weakness. Although the fungi were able to degrade and metabolise the pine wood, charcoal does not form a readily available source of fungal nutrients at least for these species under the conditions used in this study.
PMID: 20229385 [PubMed – in process]
Han SS, Cho CK, Lee YW, Yoo HS.
East-West Cancer Center, College of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon, Korea.
This experiment was conducted to evaluate inhibitory effects against lung metastasis and promotion of splenocytes by water extracts from various mushrooms including Armillaria mellea, Grifola frondosa, Garnoderma frondosa, Codyceps militaris, Hericium erinaceus, Coriolus versicolor, Agaricus Blazei with Lycium Chinense Miller (known as M8). Analysis of carbohydrate using HPTLC showed that beta-glucan and pachyman were some of the major components of M8. Oral administration of M8 resulted in a dose-dependent tendency to inhibit lung metastasis after intravenous injection of colon26-L5 cells. Treatment with M8 resulted in a significant increase of T cell and B cell mitogenic stimuli. The population of CD3, CD19, CD4, and CD8 positive cells increased in a dose dependent manner of M8 administration. However, no significant results were obtained from the population of Mac-1 and NK1.1 positive cells. Oral administration of M8 resulted in the increased production of IFN-gamma and IL-4 by splenocytes stimulated with Con A compared with untreated controls. These results show that M8 has antitumor activities which may be useful as an antimetastatic agent.
PMID: 20633495 [PubMed – in process]
The multiple and complex mechanisms of action of Coriolus Versicolor PSP have been demonstrated through in vitro and animal studies. Coriolus PSP has suppressed the growth of human cancer cell lines in mice (sarcoma 180, lung adenocarcinoma and Lewis lung cancer).
It has also inhibited incorporation of two structural units of DNA (uridine and thymidine) in Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, inhibited the growth of P388 leukemia cells, and demonstrated anti-proliferative activity against cell lines of human gastric cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, and mononuclear leukemia.
Coriolus PSP has reversed tumor-induced immunodeficiencies in sarcoma-bearing mice by increasing immunoglobulin G and C3 complement levels9. It has also been associated with increases in white blood cell count, serum IgG, CD4, CD8, B-lymphocytes, and neutrophils, along with a higher survival rate of tumor bearing mice3. Many of these effects have been attributed to PSP being a strong scavenger of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. Coriolus Versicolor PSP has also been found to restrict the cell cycle of HL-60 leukemic cells through apoptosis.
These and other immune effects of PSK and PSP are described in reviews by Fisher and Yang, Ooi and Liu and Chu, Ho and Chow.
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