Active Hexose Correlated Compound Has Protective Effects in Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury of the Rat Small Intestine

J Surg Res. 2019 Nov;243:265-273. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2019.05.047. Epub 2019 Jun 26.


Background: Ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury of the small intestine is a serious problem in abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery or small intestine transplantation. Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a popular anti-inflammatory drug in complementary and alternative medicine. The aim of this study was to examine whether pretreatment with AHCC reduces intestinal IR injury.

Methods: Rats were given a normal diet (IR group) or normal diet supplemented with 2% AHCC (IR + AHCC group) ad libitum for 10 d. After 1 d of fasting, the superior mesenteric artery was occluded by clipping for 45 min. Intestinal and blood samples were collected for 1-6 h after reperfusion. The messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of inflammatory factors were analyzed.

Results: The IR + AHCC group had reduced mucosal abrasion and significantly increased mucosal thickness of the intestinal tissues 6 h after reperfusion, compared with the IR group. AHCC decreased mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant 1 and interleukin 6 in the mucosa of the small intestine. AHCC also decreased expression of iNOS protein. Serum levels of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant 1 and tumor necrosis factor α were decreased in the IR + AHCC group compared with the IR group. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay of mucosal nuclear extracts revealed that AHCC inhibited the activation of nuclear factor kappa B. AHCC also inhibited the expression of iNOS antisense transcript, which stabilizes iNOS mRNA.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that AHCC reduces expression of inflammatory mediators, in part, by inhibiting nuclear factor kappa B activation. AHCC may have anti-inflammatory effect in patients with intestinal IR injury.

Keywords: Active hexose correlated compound; Cytokines; Intestines; Nitric oxide synthase type II; Reperfusion injury.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Intestinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Intestinal Diseases / pathology
  • Intestinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / blood supply
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Polysaccharides
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat
  • Active Hexose Correlated Compound