Coriolus versicolor aqueous extract ameliorates insulin resistance with PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK signaling pathways involved in diabetic skeletal muscle

Phytother Res. 2018 Mar;32(3):551-560. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6007. Epub 2017 Dec 15.


Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are usually with poor immunity and easier to suffer from cancer and microbial infections. Herein, we report an efficient anti-diabetic medicinal mushroom, Coriolus versicolor (CV). This study aimed to investigate the anti-diabetic and anti-insulin-resistance effects of CV aqueous extract in myoblasts (L6 cells) and skeletal muscle of T2DM rat. Our results showed that CV extract treatment significantly reduced blood glucose levels of T2DM rats, whereas CV extract increased glucose consumption in insulin resistant L6 cells. Besides, the translocation and expression of glucose transporter 4 were enhanced by CV extract, which indicated that CV extract was effective in diabetic skeletal muscle. Moreover, CV extract treatments resulted in remarkable anti-insulin-resistance effects, which was reflected by the change of gene and protein expression levels in PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK pathways. PI3K inhibitor, LY29004, and p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580 confirmed it further. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that the CV extract exhibited anti-diabetic and anti-insulin-resistance effects in diabetic skeletal muscle, and the effects were mediated by PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK pathways. These findings are remarkable when considering the use of commercially available CV by diabetic patients who also suffer from cancer or microbial infections.

Keywords: Chinese medicine; Coriolus versicolor; diabetic mellitus; glucose transporter 4; insulin resistance; skeletal muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Signal Transduction
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases