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Phytother Res. 1999 Mar;13(2):133-7.

Effects of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) extract on human neutrophils and the U937 monocytic cell line.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore.


The aqueous extract of the shiitake mushroom was found to decrease IL-1 production and apoptosis in human neutrophils, as measured by ELISA and flow cytometry respectively. It was found to increase IL-1 production and apoptosis in the U937 monocytic cell line. The extract showed no significant effects on the superoxide production of both neutrophils and U937 cells, as measured by chemiluminescence. The extract was further separated into high and low molecular weight components, and it was found that the low molecular weight component retained the activity of the whole extract. This further suggests that the active substance is a novel compound distinct from lentinan, a well-studied high molecular weight anti-tumour agent found in shiitake.

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