The immunomodulatory effect of aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus, called as Chaga, was tested on bone marrow cells from chemically immunosuppressed mice. The Chaga water extract was daily administered for 24 days to mice that had been treated with cyclophosphamide (400 mg/kg body weight), immunosuppressive alkylating agent. The number of colony-forming unit (CFU)-granulocytes/macrophages (GM) and erythroid burst-forming unit (BFU-E), increased almost to the levels seen in non-treated control as early as 8 days after treatment. Oral administration of the extract highly increased serum levels of IL-6. Also, the level of TNF-α was elevated by the chemical treatment in control mice, whereas was maintained at the background level in the extract-treated mice, indicating that the extract might effectively suppress TNF-α related pathologic conditions. These results strongly suggest the great potential of the aqueous extract from Inonotus obliquus as immune enhancer during chemotherapy.
Keywords: Bone marrow; Cytokine; Hematopoiesis; Immune modulator; Inonotus obliquus.