The increasing number of patients suffering from allergic diseases is a global health problem. Grifola frondosa is an edible mushroom consumed as a health food in Asia, and has recently been reported to have anti-allergic effects. We previously reported that G. frondosa extract (GFE) and its active components, ergosterol and its derivatives, inhibited the antigen-induced activation of RBL-2H3 cells. Here, we demonstrated that GFE and ergosterol also had an inhibitory effect on the degranulation of bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) and alleviated anaphylactic cutaneous responses in mice. Using an air pouch-type allergic inflammation mouse model, we confirmed that oral administration of GFE and ergosterol suppressed the degranulation of mast cells in vivo. Our findings suggest that G. frondosa, including ergosterol as its active component, reduces type I allergic reactions by suppressing mast cell degranulation in mice, and might be a novel functional food that prevents allergic diseases.
Keywords: Anti-allergic activity; histamine release; mast cells; mushroom; type I allergy.