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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26654. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026654. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Protective effects of white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) against hepatic steatosis in ovariectomized mice as a model of postmenopausal women.

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Division of Tumor Cell Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California, United States of America.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes various hepatic pathologies ranging from hepatic steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis. Estrogen provides a protective effect on the development of NAFLD in women. Therefore, postmenopausal women have a higher risk of developing NAFLD. Hepatic steatosis is an early stage of fatty liver disease. Steatosis can develop to the aggressive stages (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis). Currently, there is no specific drug to prevent/treat these liver diseases. In this study, we found that white button mushroom (WBM), Agaricus Bisporus, has protective effects against liver steatosis in ovariectomized (OVX) mice (a model of postmenopausal women). OVX mice were fed a high fat diet supplemented with WBM powder. We found that dietary WBM intake significantly lowered liver weight and hepatic injury markers in OVX mice. Pathological examination of liver tissue showed less fat accumulation in the livers of mice on WBM diet; moreover, these animals had improved glucose clearance ability. Microarray analysis revealed that genes related to the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway, particularly the genes for fatty acid synthetase (Fas) and fatty acid elongase 6 (Elovl6), were down-regulated in the liver of mushroom-fed mice. In vitro mechanistic studies using the HepG2 cell line showed that down-regulation of the expression of FAS and ELOVL6 by WBM extract was through inhibition of Liver X receptor (LXR) signaling and its downstream transcriptional factor SREBP1c. These results suggest that WBM is protective against hepatic steatosis and NAFLD in OVX mice as a model for postmenopausal women.

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