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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
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ISSN Druckformat: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v12.i1.30
pages 33-41

Extracts from Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms Increase Intracellular α-Defensins 1-3 Concentration in HL60 Cells

Solo R. Kuvibidila
Oklahoma State University, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA; The Research Institute of Children's Hospital, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Research, 200 Henry Clay, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Kiranmayi Korlagunta
Oklahoma State University, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA


Exotic mushrooms have long been used in Asia for the treatment and prevention of diseases, including infections, due to their capacity to modulate immunity. However, their effect on the production of antimicrobial peptides α-defensins 1-3, an important component of innate immunity, has not been previously investigated. We hypothesized that one of the mechanisms by which mushrooms protect from infection is by the induction of α-defensins 1-3. We measured α-defensins 1-3 by ELISA in cell lysates of promyelocytic HL60 cells incubated with 0−10 μg/mL extracts of Agaricus bisporus (white strain and portabella), Grifola frondosa, and Lentinus edodes (prepared by ethanol precipitation), with and without lipopolysaccharides (2.5 μg/mL LPS), for 48 h. In LPS-treated and untreated cultures, the extracts increased cellular a-defensins levels by 131%−350% (p < 0.05, ANOVA). Boiling mushrooms for 10 or 30 min did not abrogate α-defensins induction, suggesting that the bioactive active compounds are heat stable. The mechanism of α-defensins 1-3 upregulation has yet to be investigated. However, we speculate that it is unlikely related to higher HL60 cell proliferation because mushroom extracts reduced 3H-thymidine uptake by up to 66% (p < 0.005). It also was not due to endotoxin because the levels were low (<0.06 EU/mL) and LPS did not increase α-defensins. This is the first time that culinary-medicinal mushrooms are shown to modulate α-defensins 1-3 production. Our data suggest that the induction of α-defensins 1-3 may contribute to the protective effect of mushrooms from infection.

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