Ganoderma lucidum mycelia enhance innate immunity by activating NF-kappaB

J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jan 16;103(2):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.010. Epub 2005 Sep 15.


Ganoderma lucidum is a popular medicinal mushroom in China and Japan for its immunomodulatory and antitumor effects. The goal of this research is to investigate the effect of dried mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum produced by submerged cultivation on the enhancement of innate immune response. We found that Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (0.2-1.6 mg/ml) stimulated TNF-alpha and IL-6 production after 8h treatment in human whole blood. IFN-gamma release from human whole blood was also enhanced after 3 day-culture with Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (0.2-1.0mg/ml). However, Ganoderma lucidum mycelia did not potentiate nitric oxide production in RAW264.7 cells. To better understand the possible immuno-enhancement mechanisms involved, we focused on nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the Ganoderma lucidum mycelia (1.6 mg/ml) activated kappaB DNA binding activity in RAW264.7 cells. These results provide supporting evidences for the immunomodulatory effect of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood / drug effects*
  • Blood / immunology
  • Blood / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Reishi


  • Cytokines
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • NF-kappa B
  • Nitric Oxide