Mushroom beta glucan: potential candidate for post irradiation protection

Mutat Res. 2013 Mar 18;751(2):109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.12.005. Epub 2012 Dec 28.


The in vivo radioprotective effect of a beta-glucan (BG) isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, against radiation (RT) induced damage was investigated taking mouse survival, hematology, liver GSH (Reduced glutathione), liver Malondialdehyde (MDA) and bone marrow chromosomal aberrations as end points. Young adult swiss albino mice were whole body exposed to gamma radiation. For mouse survival study, BG was administered orally (250μg/kg body wt or 500μg/kg body wt) 15min before or 5min after 8Gy exposure. For other parameters BG was given orally 5min after 4Gy exposure. The radioprotective effect of BG was compared with that of clinically used radioprotective drug amifostine (WR-2721), at 300mg/kg body wt administered intraperitoneally, 30min before irradiation. BG (500μg/kg body wt) produced (66%) mouse survival at 30 days given post irradiation, and 83% survived at 30 days with 300mg/kg body wt of amifostine administered before RT while RT alone produced 100% mortality. BG is not toxic at the radioprotective dose. Significant reduction in number of aberrant cells and different types of aberration was observed in both BG and amifostine administered groups compared to radiation alone treated group. BG seems to have potential for use in protection against unplanned radiation exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Amifostine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Gamma Rays
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / toxicity
  • Survival Analysis
  • Whole-Body Irradiation
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology*


  • Hemoglobins
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • beta-Glucans
  • Amifostine