In vitro and in vivo protective effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on alloxan-induced pancreatic islets damage

Life Sci. 2003 Sep 19;73(18):2307-19. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(03)00594-0.


This study was undertaken to investigate the protective effect against alloxan-induced pancreatic islets damage by Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides (Gl-PS) isolated from the fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. ex Fr.) Karst. In vitro, alloxan caused dose-dependent toxicity on the isolated pancreatic islets. Pre-treatment of islets with Gl-PS for 12 h and 24 h significantly reversed alloxan-induced islets viability loss. Gl-PS was also found to inhibit the free radicals production induced by alloxan in the isolated pancreatic islets using confocal microscopy. Gl-PS dose-dependently increased serum insulin and reduced serum glucose levels when pretreated intragastrically for 10 days in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. It was found that the pancreas homogenates had higher lipid peroxidation products in alloxan-treated mice than in the Gl-PS-treated animals. Aldehyde fuchsin staining revealed that alloxan caused nearly all the beta cells disappearing from the pancreatic islets, while Gl-PS partly protected the beta cells from necrosis. Alloxan (60 mg/kg) induced NF-kappa B activation in the pancreas at 30 min after injection, pretreatment with Gl-PS inhibited alloxan-induced activation of NF-kappa B. These results suggest that Gl-PS was useful in protecting against alloxan-induced pancreatic islets damage in vitro and in vivo; one of the mechanisms is through its scavenging ability to protect the pancreatic islets from free radicals-damage induced by alloxan.

MeSH terms

  • Alloxan / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental* / prevention & control
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / biosynthesis
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Drug Combinations
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Alloxan