Polysaccharide of Hericium erinaceus attenuates colitis in C57BL/6 mice via regulation of oxidative stress, inflammation-related signaling pathways and modulating the composition of the gut microbiota

J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Jul;57:67-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2018.03.005. Epub 2018 Mar 16.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease caused by a dysregulated immune with unknown etiology. Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is a Chinese medicinal fungus, with the effect of prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. In this study, we have tested the anti-inflammatory effect of polysaccharide of H. erinaceus (HECP, Mw: 86.67 kDa) in the model of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in C57BL/6 mice. Our data indicated that HECP could improve clinical symptoms and down-regulate key markers of oxidative stresses, including nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), and myeloperoxidase (MPO). HECP also suppressed the secretion of interleukin (IL)-6, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and decreased the expression of related mRNA. Meanwhile, HECP blocked phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65, NF-κB inhibitor alpha (IκB-α), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and Protein kinase B (Akt) in DSS-treated mice. Moreover, HECP reversed DSS-induced gut dysbiosis and maintained intestinal barrier integrity. In conclusion, HECP ameliorates DSS-induced intestinal injury in mice, which suggests that HECP can serve as a protective dietary nutrient against IBD.

Keywords: Akkermansia; Anti-inflammatory; Gut dysbiosis; Inflammatory bowel disease; PICRUSt.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity
  • Fungal Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mycelium / chemistry
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cytokines
  • Fungal Polysaccharides
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2