Chemical characterization and biological activity of Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a medicinal "mushroom"

J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Mar 13;162:323-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.12.069. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: In Russian traditional medicine, an extract from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus (Fr.) Pil´at is used as an anti-tumor medicine and diuretic. It has been reported that Inonotus obliquus has therapeutic effects, such as anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory and hepatoprotective effects. This study was designed to investigate the chemical composition and biological properties of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Inonotus obliquus from Finland, Russia, and Thailand. Their antioxidative, antimicrobial, and antiquorum properties were tested as well as the cytotoxicity on various tumor cell lines.

Materials and methods: The tested extract was subjected to conventional chemical study to identified organic acids and phenolic compounds. Antioxidative activity was measured by several different assays. Antimicrobial potential of extracts was tested by microdilution method, and antiquorum sensing activity and antibiofilm formation of Inonotus obliquus extracts was tested on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cytotoxicity of the extracts was tested on tumor cells (MCF-7, NCI-H460, HeLa and HepG2) and non-tumor liver cells primary cultures.

Results: Oxalic acid was found as the main organic acid, with the highest amount in the aqueous extract from Russia. Gallic, protocatechuic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids were detected in all samples. Inonotus obliquus extracts showed high antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Extracts were tested at subMIC for anti-quorum sensing (AQS) activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and all extracts showed definite AQS activity. The assays were done using twitching and swarming of bacterial cultures, and the amount of produced pyocyanin as QS parameters. All the extracts demonstrated cytotoxic effect on four tumor cell lines and not on primary porcine liver cells PLP2.

Conclusions: As the Inonotus obliquus presence in Chaga conks is limited, further purification is necessary to draw quantitative conclusions. The presence of AQS activity in medicinal mushrooms suggests a broader anti-infectious disease protection than only immunomodulatory effects.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Antioxidant properties; Antiquorum effect; Antitumor activity; Chemical characterization; Inonotus obliquus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diuretics / chemistry
  • Diuretics / pharmacology*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Diuretics