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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 1, Pages 85-90
Original Article

Phellinus linteus Extract Augments the Immune Response in Mitomycin C-Induced Immunodeficient Mice

1Kanazawa Medical University, Department of Fundamental Research for CAM, Uchinada, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan
2Sun R&D Institute for Natural Medicines Co, Inc., Tokyo, Japan

Received 6 December 2005; Accepted 11 January 2007

Copyright © 2008 Shintaro Matsuba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phellinus linteus is a fungus distributed throughout Japan, Korea and China. Boiled water-soluble extracts from P. linteus (PLW) have shown anti-tumor and immunomodulatory properties in experiments done by intraperitoneal treatment, or in in vitro cell cultures. This is the first investigation on how oral administration of PLW influences immune responses. Here, we established immunodeficient mice by mitomycin C (MMC) and then researched how PLW influenced plaque-forming cell (PFC) production and populations of cytokine [interferon- (IFNγ-) and interleukin-4 (IL-4)]-producing T lymphocytes. PLW samples were administered orally for 19 days (1, 2 or 4 g/kg/day). PFC assay was followed using Jerne's method. IFN- and IL-4-producing T lymphocyte populations were measured by flow-activated cell sorter (FACS). These assays were conducted the day after the last oral administration. MMC groups were given MMC (1 mg/kg/day) intraperitoneally for 6 days with PLW administration. The number of PFC per 106 spleen cells increased significantly in the PLW (2 g/kg/day) group when compared with the MMC-control (P< 0.05) while populations of IFNγ- and IL-4-producing T lymphocytes decreased by MMC treatment. However, the PLW group tended to increase more than the MMC-control. Our results indicated that PLW augments the immune response of the spleen in MMC-induced immunodeficient mice.