Anti-inflammatory properties of Asian fungus alleviates lung injury, mouse study reveals

By Millette Burgos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Immune system Inflammation

This was the first study to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of the fungus, according to researchers in Taiwan. ©iStock
This was the first study to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of the fungus, according to researchers in Taiwan. ©iStock
The medicinal fungus Sanghuangporus sanghuang (S.sanghuang) helped reduce inflammation associated with acute lung injury in mice, a new study reports.

The research tested for the efficacy of mycelium extract of S.sanghuang (SS-1), which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, against the excessive inflammatory response associated with lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) in mice.

“The experimental results showed that the administration of SS-1 could inhibit LPS-induced inflammation,”​ researchers from the China Medical University in Taiwan wrote in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences​.

This rare fungus is distributed throughout Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and China. It only grows on mulberry trees in the wild. To satisfy the demand, consumers have to rely on extensive artificial cultivation.

Prior to this study, no research had been done to investigate the anti-inflammatory and pharmacological properties of SS-1 in LPS-induced ALI, said the research team.

As preparation, 72 male mice were randomly divided into six groups. The control group was injected with sterile saline, and rest were given LPS to induce ALI.

One group received no treatment, another was given the anti-inflammation drug Dexamethasone , and the remaining three groups LPS with low, medium and high dosage of SS-1.

Researchers analysed the severity of each groups’ lung injuries noting that the Dexamethasone mice showed the least injury.

Reduced cell infiltration

However, all three SS-1 mice groups had fewer injuries compared to the group which received no treatment. The highest dose SS-1 mice group had the least injuries.

“The three key factors in alleviating the inflammatory response include the reduction of immune cell infiltration, the inhibition of excessive inflammatory response, and the removal of immune cells that promote inflammatory response in the tissue,”​ researchers said.

The study revealed that SS-1 was responsible for inhibiting myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity (plaque build-up in the lungs), and could regulate the TLR4/PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, which is important for the cell cycle.

 “Our experimental results showed that SS-1 exhibits good anti-inflammatory properties. Both in vitro and in vivo assays showed that SS-1 can regulate the expression levels of TLR4/PI3K/Akt/mTOR and IKK proteins, inhibit the activation and nuclear translocation of NF-B, and reduce the phosphorylation of proteins related to the MAPK pathway, thereby reducing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory substances from cells, improving inflammatory response​,” researchers concluded.

“Therefore, based on all experimental results, we propose that SS-1 exhibits a protective effect against LPS-induced ALI in mice. The mycelium of S. sanghuang can potentially be used for the treatment or prevention of inflammation-related diseases.”


Source: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

DOI: 10.3390/ijms18020347

“Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Sanghuangporus sanghuang Mycelium”

Authors: Wang-Ching Lin, Jeng-Shang Deng et al.

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