Active hexose correlated compound enhances the immune function of mice in the hindlimb-unloading model of spaceflight conditions

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Oct;97(4):1437-44. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00259.2004. Epub 2004 Jun 11.


Hindlimb unloading is a ground-based model that simulates some of the aspects of spaceflight conditions, including lack of load bearing on hindlimbs and a fluid shift to the head. It has been shown that treatment with active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) restores resistance to infection in mice maintained under hindlimb-unloading conditions. The present study was designed to clarify the mechanisms by which AHCC enhances resistance to infection in this model. We hypothesized that oral administration of AHCC will enhance the function of the immune system, which could lead to the increased resistance to infection observed in this model. AHCC or the excipient was orally administered to mice, and the function of the immune system was assessed in spleen and peritoneal cells isolated from those groups. The results of the present study showed that administration of AHCC for 1 wk before and throughout the second day of the hindlimb-unloading period enhanced the function of the immune system assessed by spleen cell proliferation and cytokine production in spleens and nitric oxide and cytokine production in peritoneal cells. These findings suggest that AHCC can be used as a potent immunoenhancer, especially in cases in which the immune system is suppressed by any condition, including diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus infection and cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Susceptibility / immunology
  • Disease Susceptibility / therapy
  • Female
  • Hindlimb Suspension / adverse effects*
  • Hindlimb Suspension / methods
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / etiology
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Space Flight / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weightlessness Simulation / adverse effects
  • Weightlessness Simulation / methods


  • Cytokines
  • Polysaccharides
  • Active Hexose Correlated Compound