Induction of a T-Helper 1 (Th1) immune response in mice by an extract from the Pleurotus eryngii (Eringi) mushroom

J Med Food. 2012 Dec;15(12):1124-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2239. Epub 2012 Nov 7.


To assess the effect of edible mushroom extracts on the induction of T-helper 1 (Th1) immunity, we examined differences in interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-4 production in mice induced by hot-water extracts of 15 species of edible mushroom. Extracts from Agaricus bisporus, Flammulina velutipes, Hypsizigus marmoreus, Lentinula edodes, and Lyophyllum decastes induced both IFN-γ and IL-4 production in mice, whereas extracts from Pleurotus ostreatus only induced IL-4. In contrast, extracts from Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Morchella esculenta, Pholiota nameko, Pleurotus citrinopileatus, and Pleurotus eryngii induced only IFN-γ production. In particular, the extract from P. eryngii induced high levels of IFN-γ and reduced levels of IL-4. We further investigated the use of a trial immunogen using the P. eryngii extract as a Th1 immunostimulator. An oil-in-water emulsion of the hot-water extract from P. eryngii (immunostimulator) and ovalbumin (OVA; antigen) was used as a trial immunogen. This immunogen induced strong OVA-specific IgG2a antibody production in mice compared with the negative controls. In addition, OVA-specific IgG1 antibody levels were lower than those for the negative controls. Marked increases in serum IFN-γ levels and high-level production of IFN-γ in the culture supernatant from the CD4(+) spleen cells in the trial immunogen group mice were observed. Our results suggested that the hot-water extract from P. eryngii induced Th1 immunity by acting as an immunostimulator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / analysis
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Pleurotus / chemistry*
  • Pleurotus / immunology*
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / drug effects*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Ovalbumin