This study was to assess the anti-inflammatory potential of exopolysaccharide (EPS) produced by a medicinal fungus Cordyceps sinensis Cs-HK1. The EPS was isolated from the Cs-HK1 mycelial fermentation broth by ethanol precipitation and purified by deproteinization and dialysis. The EPS had a total sugar content of 74.8% and a maximum average molecular weight (MW) over 107 Da, and consisted mainly of glucose and mannose, and a small amount of galactose and ribose. In THP-1 and RAW264.7 cell cultures, EPS significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses of the cells including the release of NF-κB and several pro-inflammatory factors such as NO, TNF-α and IL-1β. In the murine model of LPS-induced acute intestinal injury, the oral administration of EPS to the animals effectively suppressed the expression of major inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10 and iNOS and alleviated the intestinal injury. The results suggest that the Cs-HK1 EPS has notable anti-inflammatory activity and can be a potential candidate for further development of new anti-septic therapeutics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the anti-inflammation of an EPS from C. sinensis fungal fermentation.
Keywords: Anti-inflammation; Cordyceps sinensis fungus; Cytokines; Exopolysaccharide; LPS-induced intestinal injury; THP-1 cell.
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