Protective effect of polysaccharides isolated from Tremella fuciformis against radiation-induced damage in mice

J Radiat Res. 2012;53(3):353-60. doi: 10.1269/jrr.11073.


WTF-B, a type of water-soluble homogeneous polysaccharide, was isolated and purified from Tremella Fuciformis. To investigate the radioprotective effect of WTF-B, we employed a 30-day survival assay. Mice were treated with WTF-B once per day for three consecutive days before 8-Gy gamma irradiation. The treatment groups receiving 54 and 72 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) of WTF-B showed 50% survival post-irradiation. The hematological parameters of the peripheral blood indicated that WTF-B, when administered at doses of 72 mg/kg b.w., significantly restored hemoglobin, white blood cell counts and red blood cell counts by the 14th day and 18th day. In addition, spleen colony forming units (CFU-S), the number of nucleated cells in bone marrow (BMNC) and spleen index were used to investigate the radioprotective effect of WTF-B on the hematopoietic system. The treatment groups receiving WTF-B at 18, 54 and 72 mg/kg b.w. doses presented significantly higher BMNC compared to radiation-only group. The group administered 72 mg/kg b.w. WTF-B presented a significant change in CFU-S compared to the radiation-only group. We also completed micronucleus and chromosome aberration assays to explore genotoxicity. The results of those assays indicated that the number of micronuclei induced by 2-Gy irradiation in a group treated with 72 mg/kg b.w. WTF-B decreased from 30.30‰ to 11.32‰. The chromosomal aberration produced by 3-Gy irradiation in the group receiving 72 mg/kg b.w. WTF-B decreased from 56.01% to 28.13%. The results of the present study indicate a potential use for WTF-B as a radioprotector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Gamma Rays / adverse effects
  • Hematopoietic System / injuries
  • Hematopoietic System / radiation effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*


  • Polysaccharides
  • Radiation-Protective Agents