Scientific Articles

Research papers published

Five New Maleic and Succinic Acid Derivatives from the Mycelium of Antrodia camphorata and Their Cytotoxic Effects on LLC Tumor Cell Line


Abstract: Five new maleic and succinic acid derivatives were isolated from the mycelium of Antrodia camphorata. Their structures were determined by various spectroscopic means. Maleimide derivatives 2 and 3 showed appreciable cytotoxic activity against LLC cells.

Protective Effects of a Neutral Polysaccharide Isolated from the Mycelium of Antrodia cinnamomea on Propionibacterium acnes and Lipopolysaccharide Induced Hepatic Injury in Mice


Abstract: Mycelia of Antrodia cinnamomea were extracted with chloroform and hot water. A neutral polysaccharide named ACN2a separated from the water extract was purified using 10% CCl3COOH, and repeated column chromatography on HW-65 and DE-52 cellulose. Its structure was determined by chemical and spectroscopic analyses. ACN2a was composed of Gal, Glc, Fuc, Man and GalN (in the ratio 1 : 0.24 : 0.07 : 0.026 : faint), in which an a-D-(1?6)-Gal linkage accounted for 73% of all linkages. The ratio of branch points was about 16% of the total residual numbers, and branches were attached to C-2 of galactosyl residues of the main chain. ACN2a had an average molecular weight of 12.9_105Daltons, [a]25= +115° (c=0.44, H2O); [?]_0.0417dl · g -1, Cp=0.2663 cal/(g · °C). The hepatoprotective effect of ACN2a was evaluated using a mouse model of hepatic injury that was induced by Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The administration of ACN2a (0.4, 0.8 g/kg/d, p.o.), significantly prevented increases in serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme activities in mice treated with P. acnes–LPS, indicating hepatoprotective activity in vivo.

Inhibitory Effects of Antrodins A E from Antrodia cinnamomea and Their Metabolites on Hepatitis C Virus Protease


Abstract: Antrodia cinnamomea is a highly valued folk medicine used for liver cancer, a disease often caused by the long term infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the present study, the maleic and succinic acid constituents (antrodins A-E) of this medicinal fungus, the in vivo metabolites of antrodin C and the analogue of one of the metabolites were tested for their inhibitory activity on HCV protease. Most of the compounds showed potent inhibitory activity, with antrodin A being the most potent (IC50= 0.9 µg/mL). Antrodin A was isolated as one of the constituents of A. cinnamomea and was also detected as an in vivo metabolite of the major constituent antrodin C. The mode of inhibition for antrodin A on HCV protease was revealed by a Lineweaver-Burk plot as competitive inhibition. These results strongly support the use of this folk medicine for liver cancer and HCV infection which is a global problem.

Cordyceps sinensis and Its Fractions Stimulate MA-10 Mouse Leydig Tumor Cell Steroidogenesis


Abstract: The effects of Cordyceps sinensis (CS) and its extracted fractions on steroidogenesis in MA-10 cells were determined. Different concentrations of CS and 3 fractions of CS (F1, a watersoluble polysaccharide; F2, a water-soluble protein; and F3, a poorly water-soluble polysaccharide and protein) were added to MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells with or without human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and the production of steroid and the expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) were examined. The results showed that CS alone (2-10 mg/mL) stimulated MA-10 cell progesterone production in a dose-dependent relationship. Fractions F1 and F3 (2-10 mg/mL) also had significant (p<0.05) stimulatory effects on MA-10 cell steroidogenesis with a dose-dependent relationship. However, fraction F2 did not have an effect on MA-10 cells. CS and F3, but not F1, significantly induced more steroid production in hCG-stimulated MA-10 cells (p<0.05). As a temporal relationship, F1 and F3 (2 mg/mL) maximally stimulated progesterone production between 1 and 3 hours after stimulation in MA-10 cells. In addition, CS and F3 significantly enhanced MA-10 cell StAR protein expression, which indicates that CS and F3 may use a cyclic adenosine monophosphate signal transduction pathway to activate MA-10 Leydig cell steroidogenesis in a manner to that of luteinizing hormone.

Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on testosterone production in normal mouse Leydig cells


Abstract: The stimulatory effect of Cordyceps sinensis (CS) on MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cell steroidogenesis was previously demonstrated in our laboratory. In the present studies, we further determined the effect of CS on steroidogenesis in purified normal mouse Leydig cells. Different concentrations of CS (0.1–10 mg/ml) were added to Leydig cells without or with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) (50 ng/ml), and the steroid production was determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA). The results illustrated that CS stimulated normal mouse Leydig cell steroidogenesis in a dose-dependent relationship. CS at 3 mg/ml significantly stimulated testosterone production (p>0.05). Concerning the temporal relationship, CS at 3 mg/ml stimulated maximal testosterone production between 2 to 3 hr. Interestingly, hCG-stimulated testosterone productions were suppressed by CS in a dose-dependent relationship. CS also reduced dbcAMP-stimulated testosterone productions, which indicated that CS affected signal transduction pathway of steroidogenesis after the formation of cyclic AMP. Moreover, cycloheximide inhibited CS-treated mouse Leydig cell testosterone production, suggesting that new protein synthesis was required for CS-stimulated steroidogenesis.

In vivo and in vitro stimulatory effects of Cordyceps sinensis on testosterone production in mouse Leydig cells


Abstract: The in vivo and in vitro effects of Cordyceps sinensis (CS) and its extracted fractions on the secretion of testosterone in mice were studied. CS, F2 (water soluble protein), and F3 (poorly water soluble polysaccharide and protein) significantly stimulated in vitro testosterone production in purified mouse Leydig cells. However, F1 (water soluble polysaccharide) had no effect (p>0.05). F2 and F3 stimulated in vitro testosterone production in dose- and time-dependent relationships with maximal responses at 3 mg/ml for 3 h (p<0.05). An in vivo study illustrated that testosterone levels in plasma were significantly increased by CS, F2, and F3, respectively (p<0.05). Because CS, F2, and F3 stimulated both in vitro and in vivo testosterone secretions in mice, it is possible that CS might contribute to an alternative medicine for the treatment of some reproductive problems caused by insufficient testosterone levels in human males.

In vivo stimulatory effect of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium and its fractions on reproductive functions in male mouse


Abstract: Cordyceps sinensis (CS), an Ascomycetes fungus parasitic to Lepidoptera larvae, has been traditionally used as nutritious food for the enhancement on sexual performance and the restitution of impairment in sexual function in Chinese society. We have previously demonstrated the stimulatory effect of CS and its fractions on steroidogenesis both on primary mouse Leydig cells and MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells. In the present studies, we determined the in vivo effects of CS and its fractions on steroidogenesis in mouse. Different concentrations of CS and CS fractions (0.02 and 0.2 mg/g body weight) were fed to immature or mature mice from 1 to 7 days. The plasma levels of testosterone were evaluated by radioimmunoassay. The weights of reproductive organs were also determined. Results illustrated that CS significantly induced plasma testosterone levels both in immature and mature mice in 3 and/or 7 days treatment (p<0.05). F2 and F3 at 0.02 and/or 0.2 mg/g body weight for different feeding duration could also significantly stimulated plasma testosterone levels both in immature and mature mice (p<0.05). In general, CS, F2 and F3 didn’t have considerable effect on the weights of reproductive organs. Taken together, these studies illustrate that CS and its fractions significantly stimulated in vivo mouse testosterone production.

Abrogation of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B-mediated suppression of phagocytosis in U937 cells by Cordyceps sinensis mycelium via production of cytokines


Abstract: Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SPE B) is a virulent factor in group A streptococcal infection. We previously showed that SPE B reduced phagocytosis in human monocytic U937 cells. Here we show that the mycelium extract of Cordyceps sinensis (CS), a Chinese immunomodulatory herbal medicine, increased phagocytosis in U937 cells. Neither heat nor trypsin pretreatment prevented CS extract from causing this increase. Further studies indicated that SPE B-mediated suppression of U937 cell phagocytic activity was abrogated by CS extract. Factors in the conditioned medium from CS-extract-treated U937 cells were responsible for blocking the SPE B-mediated suppression of phagocytosis. Heating the conditioned medium eliminated the increase, which suggested that the U937-cell protein products augmented phagocytosis. Analyzing cytokine mRNA expression of U937 cells revealed increases in interferon-? (IFN-?), interleukin (IL)-12 p35 and p40, and tumor necrosis factor-a(TNF-a), but not in IL-1ß, IL-6, or IL-8. Treating U937 cells with anti-IFN-?, IL-12, and TNF-a antibodies also eliminated the conditioned medium-induced increase in phagocytosis. Taken together, SPE B inhibited phagocytosis, but CS mycelium extract abrogated this inhibition by causing cytokine production.

Cordyceps sinensis mycelium protects mice from group A streptococcal infection


Abstract: Group A streptococcus (GAS) infection can cause severe invasive diseases, including necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Cordyceps sinensis, a Chinese herbal medicine, is an immunomodulator. In this study the air-pouch bacterial inoculation model was used to investigate the protective efficacy of C. sinensis mycelium extract against GAS infection. Force feeding mice with C. sinensis mycelium extract for 3 consecutive days before GAS infection increased the survival rate and reduced local skin-tissue injury compared with mice fed PBS. Bacterial numbers in the air pouch exudates from C. sinensis-treated mice were lower than those from PBS-treated mice. Blood and organs in PBS-treated mice showed bacterial dissemination, but those in C. sinensis-treated mice did not. Three days of pretreatment with C. sinensis extract followed by C. sinensis treatment every other day afterGASinfection resulted in 100%survival. The post-GAS-infection levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and blood urea nitrogen in the sera of C. sinensis-treated mice were lower than those of PBS-treated mice. Taken together, these results show that C. sinensis mycelium extract protects by decreasing bacterial growth and dissemination, thereby increasing mouse survival rate. IL-12 and IFN-a expression and macrophage phagocytic activity also increased after C. sinensis treatment.

Agaricus Blazei Murill Ameliorates Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury


Background: Agaricus blazei Murill (ABM) is a widely accepted health food and is known to present anti-tumorigenic activities. ABM has also been reported to modulate oxidative stress after inflammation and infection. Reactive oxygen free radicals have been shown to be critically involved in ischemia-reperfusion injury cascades. We aimed to study the antioxidant activities of ABM against tissue injury caused by myocardial ischemia-reperfusion processes. Methods: A rat cardiomyocyte H9c2 cell line was set up and used for the study. Cell viabilities after different dosages 0f ABM extract treatment and hydrogen peroxide injuries were checked . A cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury model was set up to elucidate the cardioprotective roles 0f ABM extract. Different doses of 22.5 mg/kgof body weight and 45 mg/kg of body weight ABM extract were pre-treated at 24 and 48 hours before inducing the ischemia-reperfusion injury. Results: ABM extract treatment increased the survival of cardiomyocytes without cytotoxicity. Pretreatment with ABM extract reduced hydrogen peroxide- induced cell damage and increased cell survival (0.86 ± 0.15 in ABM 6.0 mg/kgvs. 0.45 ± 0.03 in control, p = 0.019). ABM-pretreated rats that underwent myocardial ischemia-reperfusion had greatly reduced infarct areas compared to those in the control group (14.3 ± 3.3% in control group, 4.6 ± 1.9% in 22.5mg/kggroup, 4.9 ± 2. 1% in 45 mg/kggroup, p < 0.05). Conclusion: ABM increases antioxidant activity, which greatly ameliorates myocardial injuries caused by myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injuries. Using ABM as a health food may provide cardioprotectivc effect against ischemia- reperfusion injuries.