Ling Zhi-8: studies of a new immunomodulating agent

Transplantation. 1995 Sep 15;60(5):438-43.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Graft Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Skin Transplantation


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • LZ-8 protein, Ganoderma lucidum