Phellinus linteus polysaccharide extract improves insulin resistance by regulating gut microbiota composition

FASEB J. 2020 Jan;34(1):1065-1078. doi: 10.1096/fj.201901943RR. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


The hypoglycemic effect of Phellinus linteus polysaccharide extract (PLPE) has been documented in several previous studies, but the functional interactions among PLPE, gut microbiota, and the hypoglycemic effect remain unclear. We examined the regulatory effect of PLPE on gut microbiota, and the molecular mechanism underlying improvement of insulin resistance, using a type 2 diabetic rat model. Here, 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups that were subjected to intervention of saline (normal and model control group), metformin (120 mg/, and PLPE (600 mg/ by oral administration. After 8 weeks of treatment, PLPE increased levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by enhancing abundance of SCFA-producing bacteria. SCFAs maintained intestinal barrier function and reduced lipopolysaccharides content in blood, thereby helping to reduce systemic inflammation and reverse insulin resistance. Our findings suggest that PLPE (in which polysaccharides are the major component) has potential application as a prebiotic for regulating gut microbiota composition in diabetic patients.

Keywords: Phellinus linteus polysaccharide; gut microbiota; inflammation; insulin signaling; short‐chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / blood
  • Male
  • Phellinus
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Crp protein, rat
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Il6 protein, rat
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Phellinus linteus extract
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha