Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8) is a protein derived from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum and has immunomodulatory capacities. It was shown to be mitogenic toward mouse splenocytes in vitro and immunosuppressive in vivo by reducing antigen-induced antibody formation and by preventing completely the incidence of autoimmune diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice. In this study, the mitogenic effects of LZ-8 on human mononuclear cells are reported. In accordance to its mitogenic effect on mouse splenocytes, LZ-8 proved to be mitogenic for human PBMC. This mitogenic effect of LZ-8 apparently required the presence of monocytes. We also demonstrated it to be immunosuppressive in vitro in a human MLC performed in the absence of monocytes, using purified T cells and EBV-transformed allogeneic B cells. Furthermore, we tested LZ-8 for its possible suppressive effects in 2 different models of allogeneic tissue transplantation. LZ-8 proved to have a significant effect on cellular immunity, since its administration in an allografted mouse skin model resulted in an increased survival time. In a model of transplanted allogeneic pancreatic rat islets, LZ-8 was effective in delaying the rejection process of allografted islets. More frequent or continuous administration resulted in a further prolongation of survival time. No serious side effects of LZ-8 could be discerned in these experiments.