Effect of polysaccharide from cultured Cordyceps sinensis on immune function and anti-oxidation activity of mice exposed to 60Co

Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Dec;11(12):2251-7. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2011.09.019. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Aim of the study: The present study was designed to investigate the molecular weight (MW), chemical composition and effect of polysaccharide (CS-PS), from the fruiting bodies of cultured Cordyceps sinensis, on immune function and anti-oxidation activity of BALB/c mice exposed to (60)Co.

Materials and methods: The MW of CS-PS was determined by gel-filtration. The chemical composition of CS-PS was tested by using gas chromatography-mass spectrophotometer (GC-MS). Mice were administered CS-PS with doses of 50, 100 or 200mg/kg body weight, then exposed to (60)Co. The normal control group and irradiated control group were also used. Four days later, lymphocyte proliferation, activity of macrophage phagocytosis, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH), concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), total-superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme activity, and cytokine expression in serum from the mice were tested.

Results: The average molecular weight of CP-PS was 12 kD. The polysaccharide was composed of mannose, rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, glucose and galactose. Lymphocyte proliferation, the activity of macrophage phagocytosis, DTH and total-SOD enzyme activity in the CS-PS groups were significantly enhanced compared to the irradiated control group. Lipid peroxidation level was significantly reduced in the CS-PS groups compared to the irradiated control group. Levels of cytokine IL-4, IL-5 and IL-17 are also affected in the CS-PS groups compared to the irradiated control group.

Conclusions: CS-PS, a heteropolysaccharide, enhances immunity activity in mice treated by ionizing radiation, through reducing oxidative injury and modulating the secretion of cytokine IL-4, IL-5 and IL-17.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cobalt Radioisotopes / adverse effects*
  • Cordyceps*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / etiology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipid Peroxidation / radiation effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / radiation effects*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / radiation effects
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Phagocytosis / radiation effects
  • Polysaccharides / immunology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Cobalt Radioisotopes
  • Cytokines
  • Polysaccharides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase