Water extract from Pleurotus pulmonarius with antioxidant activity exerts in vivo chemoprophylaxis and chemosensitization for liver cancer

Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(6):989-98. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.936950. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Chemoprophylaxis and chemosensitization are promising strategies to combat human cancers. Natural antioxidant agents show great promise in cancer therapy, and the use of edible mushrooms against cancer is receiving more interest globally. In this study, the radical scavenging activities including diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, superoxide anion radical, hydroxyl radical, and hydrogen peroxide were compared among hot water extracts from 3 edible mushrooms, among which Pleurotus pulmonarius (Pp) possessed the highest antioxidant potential. Oral administration of Pp 2 wk in advance could markedly inhibit the incidence and size of tumor (Huh7 liver cancer cells) with an inhibition rate of 93.1% in nude mice. No obvious side effect was observed in the Pp-treated mice as indicated by their body weight and histological analysis of major organs. The cancer prevention by Pp treatment might be explained by the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation indicated by reduction of ki-67 staining and the inactivation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway in the Pp-treated mice. Furthermore, a significant synergistic effect was observed when the mice were treated with a combination of low dose of cisplatin and Pp. Taken together, these results suggest the potential application of Pp as an adjuvant in the chemotherapy of liver cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Pleurotus / chemistry*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antioxidants
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Cisplatin