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Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Feb;6(2):133-43. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Effect of a medicinal extract from Agaricus blazei Murill on gene expression in a human monocyte cell line as examined by microarrays and immuno assays.

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  • 1Division of Environmental Medicine, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.


Extracts from the edible mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill (AbM) are used extensively as a non-prescription remedy against cancer, infections, and immune related diseases. The presumed effect is to activate certain parts of the immune system. In order to investigate the effect, we examined the changes of gene expression caused by the extract on a human monocyte cell line (THP-1). Changes in the levels of mRNA transcripts were measured using 35 k microarrays, and the changes in select cytokine gene products by immuno assays. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was included for comparison. Both AbM and LPS had drastic effects on gene expression. Genes related to immune function were selectively up-regulated, particularly proinflammatoric genes such as the interleukins IL1B and IL8. Although most genes induced by AbM were also induced by LPS, AbM produced a unique profile, e.g., as to a particular increase in mRNA for the cytokines IL1A, CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL3, as well as PTGS2 (cyclooxygenase2).

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