AHCC Activation and Selection of Human Lymphocytes via Genotypic and Phenotypic Changes to an Adherent Cell Type: A Possible Novel Mechanism of T Cell Activation

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:508746. doi: 10.1155/2015/508746. Epub 2015 Dec 15.


Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is a fermented mushroom extract and immune supplement that has been used to treat a wide range of health conditions. It helps in augmentation of the natural immune response and affects immune cell activation and outcomes. The goal of this project was to study and understand the role and mechanisms of AHCC supplementation in the prevention of immunosuppression through T cell activation. The method described here involves "in vitro" culturing of lymphocytes, exposing them to different concentrations of AHCC (0 μg/mL, 50 μg/mL, 100 μg/mL, 250 μg/mL, and 500 μg/mL) at 0 hours. Interestingly, clumping and aggregation of the cells were seen between 24 and 72 hours of incubation. The cells lay down extracellular matrix, which become adherent, and phenotypical changes from small rounded lymphocytes to large macrophage-like, spindle shaped, elongated, fibroblast-like cells even beyond 360 hours were observed. These are probably translated from genotypic changes in the cells since the cells propagate for at least 3 to 6 generations (present observations). RNA isolated was subjected to gene array analysis. We hypothesize that cell adhesion is an activation and survival pathway in lymphocytes and this could be the mechanism of AHCC activation in human lymphocytes.