The Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been used in folk medicine to treat cancers. However, limited information exists on the underlying anticancer effects of the major component of I. obliquusin vivo. We hypothesize that the pure compounds (3beta-hydroxy-lanosta-8,24-dien-21-al, inotodiol and lanosterol, respectively) separated from I. obliquus would inhibit tumor growth in Balbc/c mice bearing Sarcoma-180 cells (S-180) in vivo and growth of human carcinoma cells in vitro. To test this hypothesis, the growth inhibition of each subfraction isolated from I. obliquus on human carcinoma cell lines (lung carcinoma A-549 cells, stomach adenocarcinoma AGS cells, breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells, and cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cells) was tested in vitro. Then, after S-180 implantation, the mice were fed a normal chow supplemented with 0, 0.1 or 0.2 mg of subfraction 1, 2 or 3 per mouse per day. All of the subfractions isolated from I. obliquus showed significant cytotoxic activity against the selected cancer cell lines in vitro. Subfraction 1 was more active than subfraction 2 and subfraction 3 against the A549, AGS and MCF-7 cancer cell lines in vitro. In in vivo results, subfraction 1 isolated from I. obliquus at concentrations of 0.1 and 0.2 mg/mouse per day significantly decreased tumor volume by 23.96% and 33.71%, respectively, as compared with the control. Subfractions 2 and 3 also significantly inhibited tumor growth in mice bearing S-180 as compared with the control mouse tumor. Subfraction 1 isolated from I. obliquus showed greater inhibition of tumor growth than subfractions 2 and 3, which agrees well with the in vitro results. The results suggest that I. obliquus and its compounds in these subfractions isolated from I. obliquus could be used as natural anticancer ingredients in the food and/or pharmaceutical industry.
Keywords: Antitumor; cancer; cancer cells; mouse tumor; mushroom.