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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 May;94(3):763-71. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3711-7. Epub 2011 Dec 11.

Effects of polysaccharides from Morchella conica on nitric oxide production in lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophages.

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College of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.


Morchella conica is a species of rare edible mushroom whose multiple medicinal functions have been proven. However, reports barely mention the mechanisms of these functions. In this study, the effects of two polysaccharides from M. conica (PMCs) on nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated macrophages were investigated. The results showed that 50-200 μg/ml of the extracellular polysaccharide (EPMC) and 25-200 μg/ml of the intracellular polysaccharide (IPMC) significantly inhibited NO production. Accordingly, the signal mechanisms were also explored. It was found that 100 μg/ml of EPMC and 25 μg/ml of IPMC could efficiently down-regulate the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) DNA-binding activity and up-regulate heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression. Moreover, by using a HO-1 inhibitor NaPP to treat the cells, the PMC-inhibited NO production and iNOS expression, rather than NF-κB activation, were released partially, indicating that HO-1 probably medicates the inhibition of PMCs on iNOS and NO. Besides, EPMC also significantly suppressed the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38), c-jun N-terminal kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4, and expression of NF-κB inducing kinase, while IPMC seemed to show no regular effect on p38. In conclusion, PMCs inhibited NO production in LPS-induced macrophages through regulating a series of signal pathways, suggesting that PMCs play a potential role on immunomodulation and treating related diseases.

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