While an anti-allergic effect of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been indicated, its therapeutic effect on allergy and immunoregulatory mechanisms and chemical constituents directly responsible for that are hardly known. We examined the effect of 70% ethanol extract of Chaga mushroom (EE) and its dichloromethane (DF) and aqueous (AF) fractions using a mouse model of chicken ovalbumin (cOVA)-induced food allergy, and found that only EE and DF ameliorated allergy symptoms to a significant extent. The in vivo mast cell-stabilizing activity was also found only in EE and DF whereas the activities to suppress Th2 and Th17 immune responses and cOVA-specific IgE production in the small intestine were observed in all three treatment regimens, implying that inhibition of the mast cell function by lipophilic compounds was vital for the therapeutic effect. Results also indicated that inotodiol, a triterpenoid predominantly present in DF, played an active role as a mast cell stabilizer.
Keywords: Chaga mushroom; Food allergy; IgE; Inotodiol; Mast cell; Th2 response.
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