White button, portabella, and shiitake mushroom supplementation up-regulates interleukin-23 secretion in acute dextran sodium sulfate colitis C57BL/6 mice and murine macrophage J.744.1 cell line

Nutr Res. 2013 May;33(5):388-96. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


Interleukin-23 (IL-23), a cytokine produced primarily by dendritic cells, is involved in host defense against gut pathogens and promotes innate immunity and inflammatory responses through the IL-23/interleukin-17 axis. We previously reported that extracts from edible mushrooms enhanced antimicrobial α-defensin production n HL60 cells. Because IL-23 is involved in defensin production, we hypothesized that edible mushrooms may modulate its secretion and gut inflammation. Eight-week-old C57BL/6 mice were fed the AIN76 diet or the same diet supplemented with 5% white button (WBM), portabella, or shiitake mushrooms. To assess in vivo and in vitro cytokine secretion, 7 to 8 mice per group received 3% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in drinking water during the last 5 days of the 6-week feeding period. To delineate the mechanisms by which mushrooms alter IL-23 secretion, J.744.1 cells were incubated with (100 μg/mL) WBM, portabella, and shiitake extracts without and with 100 μg/mL curdlan (a dectin-1 agonist) or 1 mg/mL laminarin (a dectin-1 antagonist). The dectin-1 receptor is a pattern-recognition receptor found in phagocytes, and its activation promotes antimicrobial innate immunity and inflammatory responses. In DSS-untreated mice, mushrooms significantly increased IL-23 plasma levels but decreased those of interleukin-6 (IL-6) (P < .05). In DSS-treated mice, mushroom-supplemented diets increased IL-6 and IL-23 levels (P < .05). Mushroom extracts potentiated curdlan-induced IL-23 secretion, and mushroom-induced IL-23 secretion was not blocked by laminarin in vitro, suggesting the involvement of both dectin-1-dependent and dectin-1-independent pathways. Although all mushrooms tended to increase IL-6 in the colon, only WBM and shiitake tended to increase IL-23 levels. These data suggest that edible mushrooms may enhance gut immunity through IL-23.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Dextran Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Glucans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-23 / blood
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lectins, C-Type / agonists
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Shiitake Mushrooms / chemistry*
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation*
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Glucans
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-23
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Polysaccharides
  • beta-Glucans
  • dectin 1
  • curdlan
  • laminaran
  • Dextran Sulfate