The antitumor activity of intracellular polysaccharides from submerged fermentation of Ganoderma lucidum was investigated focusing on the inhibition on human liver cancer cells. The polysaccharides inhibited human hepatocarcinoma cell HepG2 during earlier phase with lower dosage but obviously became less functional in later phase regardless of the dosage applied. However, apoptosis of the drugged HepG2 cells appeared in later incubation phase with high dosage, and the apoptosis could be enhanced by supplemental dose of the intracellular polysaccharides. Nevertheless, the intracellular polysaccharides inhibited other human hepatocarcinoma cells such as BEL-7402 and Huh-7 but luckily stimulated human normal liver cell L02 only in a positive dose- and time-dependent manner; so did the sulfated extracellular polysaccharides when it inhibited HepG2 and L02 cells. However, the toxicity of sulfated extracellular polysaccharides to L02 cells can be eliminated by the intracellular polysaccharides.
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