EP-1 is a polysaccharide with a molecular weight of approximately 3100 Da, which is extracted from the cultured mycelium of Hericium erinaceus. Its anti-ulcerative colitis activity was evaluated in experimental systems using rats with ulcerative colitis and Caco-2 cells as models for experimentation. Our results showed that the treatment of EP-1 could increase SOD enzyme activity as well as decrease ROS content and oxidative damage both in vivo and in vitro. As a consequence, mitochondria function improved significantly, indicated by the increase of oxygen consumption and ATP production. In addition, increased respiration activity accelerated the elimination of excessive ROS substrate and enhanced bioenergy generation. Finally, upon treatment with EP-1, apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells was reduced and UC was relieved accordingly. Thus, EP-1 shows potential for the development of new functional foods and drugs, especially in regard to treating ulcerative colitis.
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