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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Jun;75(4):769-75. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Immunomodulatory effect of exo-polysaccharides from submerged cultured Cordyceps sinensis: enhancement of cytokine synthesis, CD11b expression, and phagocytosis.

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Department of Biotechnology, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, 717, Taiwan.


Cordyceps sinensis is widely used as a traditional medicine for treatment of a wide variety of diseases or to maintain health. The immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides prepared from submerged cultured C. sinensis BCRC36421 was investigated in human peripheral blood. Results demonstrated that Fr. A (exo-polysaccharides, 0.025 approximately 0.1 mg/ml) induced the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 dose-dependently. Fr. A, as low as 0.025 mg/ml, could significantly augment surface expression of CD11b in monocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Functional assay revealed that Fr. A (0.05 mg/ml) also elevated phagocytosis in monocytes and PMN. On the other hand, Fr. B (intracellular polysaccharides) only moderately induced TNF-alpha release, CD11b expression, and phagocytosis at the same concentrations. Our results indicate that the immunomodulatory components of submerged cultured C. sinensis mainly reside in the culture filtrate.

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