Orally administered mycelial culture of Phellinus linteus exhibits antitumor effects in hepatoma cell-bearing mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 27;133(2):460-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.10.015. Epub 2010 Oct 15.


Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to evaluate the anticancer effect of a mycelial culture from Phellinus linteus PL-7 (MCPL-7) and to elucidate its potential mechanism in vivo.

Materials and methods: SCID CB-17 mice received a transplant of Hep3B cells followed by daily MCPL-7 administrations for 8 weeks. Following tumor implantation, groups C-E were subcutaneously administered 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, or 250 mg/kg MCPL-7 powder per day, respectively, for 8 weeks. Groups A and B received saline solution subcutaneously for 8 weeks.

Results: MCPL-7 administration induced a significant reduction in tumor size and was associated with a significant increase in T cell numbers; IL-12, IFN-γ and TNF-α secretion; NK cell activity; and phagocytic ability. Therefore, increased numbers of CD4(+) cells could have been caused by greater numbers of dendritic cells and macrophages in the spleen. Furthermore, the activation of dendritic cells and macrophages resulted in increased IL-12 secretion, which could upregulate NK cell activation. The increased secretion of IL-12, IFN-γ, and TNF-α enhanced the activity and phagocytic ability of NK cells. Thus, MCPL-7 may provide a potential therapeutic approach for both immunomodulatory and antitumor effects.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Basidiomycota* / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Male
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mycelium
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phellinus
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Taiwan
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Phellinus linteus extract
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides