Armillaridin, a Honey Medicinal Mushroom, Armillaria mellea (Higher Basidiomycetes) Component, Inhibits Differentiation and Activation of Human Macrophages

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(2):161-8. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i2.70.


Armillaridin (AM) is an aromatic ester compound isolated from honey medicinal mushroom, Armillaria mellea, which has anti-cancer potential. This study was designed to examine the effects of AM on differentiation and activation macrophages, the major ontogeny of innate immunity. Macrophages were derived from CD14+ monocytes which were sorted from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Cell viability was assessed by trypan blue exclusion test. Cells were stained with Liu's dye for observation of morphology. Expression of surface antigens was examined by flow cytometric analysis. Phagocytosis and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as functional assays, were evaluated by counting engulfed yeasts and DCFH-DA reaction. The viability of macrophages was not significantly reduced by AM. AM at nontoxic concentrations markedly increased cytoplasmic vacuoles. The expression of surface CD14, CD16, CD36, and HLA-DR was suppressed. The phagocytosis function, but not ROS production, of macrophages was inhibited by AM. Armillaridin could inhibit the differentiation and activation of human macrophages. It may have potential to be developed as a biological response modifier for inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Armillaria / chemistry*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Fluoresceins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Vacuoles
  • Yeasts


  • Antigens
  • Biological Products
  • Fluoresceins
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • diacetyldichlorofluorescein
  • armillaridin