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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2011 Mar;163(5):669-78. doi: 10.1007/s12010-010-9072-3. Epub 2010 Sep 2.

An exopolysaccharide from cultivated Cordyceps sinensis and its effects on cytokine expressions of immunocytes.

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Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, People's Republic of China.


The exopolysaccharide (EPS) is a polysaccharide from cultivated Cordyceps sinensis, which possesses immunomodulatory and antitumor effects, was purified by DEAE-32 cellulose and Sephadex G-200 gel. The preliminary characters of EPS were analyzed by IR and GC, and the molecular weight was estimated by gel filtration. The effect of EPS on proliferation ability of lymphocytes from ICR mice was assayed by MTT method. The mRNA and protein expression levels of several cytokines in spleen and thymus cells were detected by RT-PCR and ELISA. The results showed that EPS consists of mannose, glucose, and galactose in a ratio of 23:1:2.6. Its molecular weight is about 1.04 × 10(5). EPS elevated proliferation ability of spleen lymphocytes only at 100 μg/ml after 48 h treatment. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interferon-α (IFN-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) mRNA levels in splenocytes and thymocytes were increased after EPS treatment for 2, 4, 8, or 20 h. EPS also significantly elevated splenic TNF-α and IFN-γ protein expressions at 100 μg/ml and increased thymic TNF-α and IFN-γ protein levels at 50 and 100 μg/ml. These data indicated that EPS may stimulate cytokine expressions of immunocytes.

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