Ganoderma lucidum (GL, Lingzhi) has been suggested as a candidate for immunomodulation and cancer treatment. The present study aimed at comparing the different parts of the fruiting body (whole fruiting body, pileus and stipe) of GL as well as Ganoderma spores (sporoderm-broken and -unbroken), with regard to their antitumor and immunomodulatory activities in S-180 sarcoma-bearing mice. The hot water extracts of different parts of GL or the Ganoderma spores were orally administered to the sarcoma-bearing mice. The results showed that GL whole fruiting body, stipe and sporoderm-broken spore possessed stronger inhibitory activities on sarcoma growth when compared with the pileus extract. Higher immunomodulatory activities in terms of enhancing the proliferative responses and the cytokines (IFN-gamma, IL-4 and IL-6) production of spleen lymphocytes were also found in GL stipe and sporoderm-broken spore treatment groups. The sporoderm-broken spores had higher stimulatory effects on mitogen-activated spleen lymphocytes of healthy mice than those of sarcoma-bearing mice. In addition, the immunostimulatory activities of GL hot water extracts and Ganoderma spores were shown to be comparable; hence the latter did not show superiority in efficacy. This is the first comparative study on the immunomodulatory activities of Ganoderma spores and the fruiting body extracts.
(c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.