Phellinus baumii enhances the immune response in cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppressed mice.
Nutr Res. 2020 Mar ;75:15-31. Epub 2019 Dec 14. PMID: 31955012
Phellinus species is a mushroom used as traditional medicine in Eastern Asia. Research on Phellinus baumii (PB) is relatively limited; however, it has been reported to have antioxidant, DNA damage-protecting, immunostimulating, and antidiabetic activities. In our previous study on anti-inflammatory properties in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and the various bioactive components of PB, we propose that PB could exert immune enhancing effects. Therefore, our current study aimed to investigate the immune-enhancing effect on immunosuppressed mice. Different concentrations of PB extract (0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg body weight) were given to mice via oral gavage for 6 weeks accompanied by intraperitoneal cyclophosphamide administration to induce immunosuppression. A bone marrow micronucleus test was performed in mice to screen for potential genotoxic compounds. Splenocyte viability and proliferation,splenic and peritoneal natural killer cell activities, and hematological markers were then measured. Cytokines in the spleen and serum, as well as splenic mRNA levels of nuclear factor-κB; interferon-γ; tumor necrosis factor-α; and interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-12, were determined in mice. As a result, PB ameliorated T- and B-lymphocyte proliferation, splenic and peritoneal NK cell activities, bone marrow cells, hematological markers, cytokine levels, and T-lymphocyte numbers. Moreover, serum and spleen cytokine levels and mRNA expression were elevated in the PB groups compared to controls. Our results suggest that the PB extract can be used as a potent immunomodulator under immunosuppressive conditions. Thus, PB may be used as a potent biofunctional and pharmaceutical material to potentially enhance human immunity.