Inonotus obliquus extracts suppress antigen-specific IgE production through the modulation of Th1/Th2 cytokines in ovalbumin-sensitized mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Oct 11;137(3):1077-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.07.024. Epub 2011 Jul 28.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus, IO) has been used as a folk remedy for cancer, digestive system diseases, and other illnesses in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Aim of the study: In the present study, we investigated the immunomodulating effects of IO through in vivo and ex vivo studies.

Materials and methods: Serum immunoglobulins (IgE, IgG(1), and IgG(2a)) and cytokines (interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-γ, and IL-2) were measured in concanavalin A (ConA)-stimulated splenocytes and CD4(+) T cells. The nitric oxide (NO) secretion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated peritoneal macrophages was also measured after oral administration of 50, 100, or 200 mg kg(-1) d(-1) IO hot water extract (IOE) to ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized BALB/c mice.

Results: We found that the OVA-induced increase in serum IgE and IgG(2a) was significantly suppressed when IOE was orally administered after the second immunization with OVA. ConA stimulation in spleen cells isolated from OVA-sensitized mice treated with 100 mg kg(-1) IOE resulted in a 25.2% decrease in IL-4 production and a 102.4% increase in IFN-γ, compared to the controls. Moreover, IL-4, IFN-γ, and IL-2 were significantly reduced after ConA stimulation in isolated CD4(+)T cells. We also determined that IOE inhibits the secretion of NO from LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages ex vivo.

Conclusions: We suggest that IO modulates immune responses through secretion of Th1/Th2 cytokines in immune cells and regulates antigen-specific antibody production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Agaricales* / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antigens*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage
  • Immunologic Factors / isolation & purification
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Ovalbumin / administration & dosage
  • Ovalbumin / immunology*
  • Peyer's Patches / drug effects
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / drug effects*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / drug effects*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Ovalbumin