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Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):14-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2849.

Hericium erinaceum induces maturation of dendritic cells derived from human peripheral blood monocytes.

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Department of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, Dental Research Institute, and BK21 Program, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-749, Korea.


Hericium erinaceum, a medicinal mushroom, has long been used as a therapeutic due to its immuno-regulating potentials eliciting anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial efficacies. Since maturation of dendritic cells (DC) is an important process in the initiation and regulation of immune responses, the ability of water-soluble components from H. erinaceum (WEHE) to regulate DC maturation was investigated. Immature DC were prepared by differentiating human peripheral blood CD14-positive cells with GM-CSF and IL-4. DC were stimulated with WEHE at 2-20 microg/mL for 48 h and subjected to flow cytometric analysis to determine the expression of indicative maturation markers. The endocytic capacity of WEHE-stimulated DC was examined by a Dextran-FITC uptake assay. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to examine the secretion of TNF-alpha and IL-12p40. DC stimulated with WEHE showed representative features upon DC maturation: enhanced expression of CD80, CD83 and CD86, and both MHC class I and II molecules, decreased endocytic capacity of DC, increased expression of CD205, and decreased expression of CD206. However, interestingly, WEHE could not induce the production of TNF-alpha and IL-12p40, whereas lipopolysaccharide substantially increased the production of both cytokines. Collectively, these results suggest that H. erinaceum induces the maturation of human DC, which might reinforce the host innate immune system.

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