Polysaccharide purified from Ganoderma lucidum induced activation and maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells by the NF-kappaB and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways

J Leukoc Biol. 2005 Aug;78(2):533-43. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0804481. Epub 2005 May 13.


Ganoderma lucidum, a fungus native to China, has been widely used to promote health and longevity in the Chinese. The polysaccharide component with a branched (1-->6)-beta-D-glucan moiety of G. lucidum (PS-G) has been reported to exert anti-tumor activity and activation of natural killer cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of PS-G on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC). Treatment of DC with PS-G resulted in the enhanced cell-surface expression of CD80, CD86, CD83, CD40, CD54, and human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR, as well as the enhanced production of interleukin (IL)-12p70, p40, and IL-10 and also IL-12p35, p40, and IL-10 mRNA expression, and the capacity for endocytosis was suppressed in DC. In addition, treatment of DC with PS-G resulted in enhanced T cell-stimulatory capacity and increased T cell secretion of interferon-gamma and IL-10. Neutralization with antibodies against Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 inhibited the PS-G-induced production of IL-12 p40 and IL-10, suggesting a vital role for TLR-4 in signaling DC upon incubation with PS-G. Further study showed that PS-G was able to augment inhibitor of kappaB (IkappaB) kinase and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activity and also IkappaB alpha and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation. Further, inhibition of NF-kappaB by helenalin and p38 MAPK by SB98059 prevented the effects of PS-G in the expression of CD80, CD86, CD83, CD40, CD54, and HLA-DR and production of IL-12p70, p40, and IL-10 in various degrees. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PS-G can effectively promote the activation and maturation of immature DC, suggesting that PS-G may possess a potential in regulating immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • I-kappa B Proteins / metabolism
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reishi / chemistry*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • Interleukins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • NFKBIA protein, human
  • Polysaccharides
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases