Bioactivity-directed isolation, identification of diuretic compounds from Polyporus umbellatus

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Oct 29;126(1):184-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.07.033. Epub 2009 Aug 7.


Aim of the study: Polyporus umbellatus is a fungus used as a diuretic medicine. The objective of this study was to isolate and elucidate the diuretic constituents of n-hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water extracts of Polyporus umbellatus and to evaluate their diuretic activity.

Materials and methods: The n-hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water extracts of Polyporus umbellatus were tested by diuretic experiment of normal rats in metabolic cage. The n-hexane extract and n-butanol extract were prepared separately by the bioassay-guided approach. Three isolated compounds doses (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg BW) were orally administered to normal rats. Water excretion rate, pH and content of Na(+), K(+) and Cl(-) were measured in the urine of saline-loaded rats.

Results: n-Hexane extract (P<0.05), n-butanol extract (P<0.05) and three isolated compounds (ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one, ergosterol and d-mannitol) displayed diuretic activity.

Conclusions: The ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one was the strongest diuretic constituent in the three compounds. Ergosterol and D-mannitol were found to be also responsible for duiretic effects in Polyporus umbellatus for the first time. Data show that 20 mg/kg dose of the ergosterol for urine out put became significantly higher than in the control rats, but the ratio of Na(+)/K(+) almost unaltered in the three doses. The highest dose of the D-mannitol was significant and increased the cumulative urine output. Regarding the electrolyte excretion, data show that the doses 10 and 20 mg/kg produce significant increase for excretion of Na(+) and Cl(-). The present results provide a quantitative basis explaining application of Polyporus umbellatus as a diuretic medicine. The result proved that its diuretic effects were also due to the contribution of multi-components in clinical application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Cholestenones
  • Complex Mixtures / chemistry
  • Complex Mixtures / pharmacology*
  • Diuresis / drug effects*
  • Diuretics / chemistry*
  • Diuretics / pharmacology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Ergosterol / analogs & derivatives
  • Ergosterol / chemical synthesis
  • Ergosterol / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mannitol / pharmacology
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Polyporus / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Cholestenones
  • Complex Mixtures
  • Diuretics
  • Mannitol
  • ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one
  • Ergosterol