Active hexose correlated compound inhibits the expression of proinflammatory biomarker iNOS in hepatocytes

Eur Surg Res. 2011;47(4):274-83. doi: 10.1159/000333833. Epub 2011 Nov 10.


Background/aims: Excess production of nitric oxide (NO) by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) has been implicated as proinflammatory biomarker in liver injury. The application of active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) as a functional food in complementary and alternative medicine has increased. The possibility that AHCC might inhibit iNOS induction was investigated as a potential liver-protective effect.

Methods: Hepatocytes were isolated from rats by collagenase perfusion and cultured. Primary cultured hepatocytes were treated with interleukin-1β in the presence or absence of AHCC-sugar fraction (AHCC-SF).

Results and conclusion: AHCC-SF inhibited the production of NO and reduced expressions of iNOS mRNA and its protein. AHCC-SF had no effects on either IκB degradation or nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation. In contrast, AHCC-SF inhibited the upregulation of type I interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1RI) through the inhibition of Akt phosphorylation. Transfection experiments with iNOS promoter-luciferase constructs revealed that AHCC-SF reduced the levels of iNOS mRNA at both promoter transactivation and mRNA stabilization steps. AHCC-SF inhibited the expression of iNOS gene antisense transcript, which is involved in iNOS mRNA stabilization. These findings demonstrate that AHCC-SF suppresses iNOS gene expression through a IκB/NF-κB-independent but Akt/IL-1RI-dependent pathway, resulting in the reduction of NO production. AHCC-SF may have therapeutic potential for various liver injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • I-kappa B Proteins / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NF-kappa B
  • Polysaccharides
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat
  • Active Hexose Correlated Compound