Ganoderma lucidum is a popular herbal medicine used in China to promote health. Modern studies have disclosed that the active ingredients of Ganoderma can exhibit several effects, including antitumor effects and immunomodulation. The present study evaluated the antitumor effects of self-prepared Ganoderma extracts and spores oil, and investigated the possible underlying mechanisms by observing the effects of the extracts and oil on topoisomerases and the cell cycle. The results showed that Ganoderma extracts and spores oil presented dose-dependent inhibitory effects on tumor cells. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of Ganoderma extracts on HL60, K562 and SGC-7901 cells for 24 h were 0.44, 0.39 and 0.90 mg/ml, respectively; for Ganoderma spores oil, the IC50 values were 1.13, 2.27 and 6.29 mg/ml, respectively. In the in vivo study, the inhibitory rates of Ganoderma extracts (4 g/kg/d, intragastrically) on S180 and H22 cells were 39.1 and 44.6%, respectively, and for Ganoderma spores oil (1.2 g/kg/d, intragastrically) the inhibitory rates were 30.9 and 44.9%, respectively. Ganoderma extracts and spores oil inhibited the activities of topoisomerase I and II. Ganoderma spores oil was shown block the cell cycle at the transition between the G1 and S phases and induce a marked decrease in cyclin D1 levels in K562 cells, with no significant change in cyclin E level. These results suggest that the Ganoderma extracts and spores oil possessed antitumor effects in the in vitro and in vivo studies. The antitumor mechanisms of the extracts and spores oil were associated with inhibitory effects on topoisomerase I and II activities, and for Ganoderma spores oil, the antitumor effects may also be associated with decreased cyclin D1 levels, thus inducing G1 arrest in the cell cycle.
Keywords: Ganoderma extracts; Ganoderma spores oil; cell cycle; cyclin D1; topoisomerase I and II; tumor.