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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1374. doi: 10.1038/srep01374.

Hirsutella sinensis mycelium suppresses interleukin-1β and interleukin-18 secretion by inhibiting both canonical and non-canonical inflammasomes.

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Center for Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Cordyceps sinensis is a medicinal mushroom used for centuries in Asian countries as a health supplement and tonic. Hirsutella sinensis-the anamorphic, mycelial form of C. sinensis-possesses similar properties, and is increasingly used as a health supplement. Recently, C. sinensis extracts were shown to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β in lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophages. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this process has remained unclear. In addition, whether H. sinensis mycelium (HSM) extracts also inhibit the production of IL-1β has not been investigated. In the present study, the HSM extract suppresses IL-1β and IL-18 secretion, and ATP-induced activation of caspase-1. Notably, we observed that HSM not only reduced expression of the inflammasome component NLRP1 and the P2X7R but also reduced the activation of caspase-4, and ATP-induced ROS production. These findings reveal that the HSM extract has anti-inflammatory properties attributed to its ability to inhibit both canonical and non-canonical inflammasomes.

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