The extract of cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia (LEM) is a medicinal food ingredient that has hepatoprotective effects. In this study, we fractionated the LEM extract to explore novel active compounds related to hepatoprotection by using primary cultures of rat hepatocytes exposed to carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4). The LEM extract and the fractions markedly inhibited the release of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) from hepatocytes damaged by CCl 4 into the culture medium. The strongest hepatocyteprotective activity was seen in a fraction (Fr. 2) in which a 50% ethanol extract was further eluted with 50% methanol and separated using reverse-phase HPLC. Fr. 2 had an average molecular weight of 2753, and the main components are lignin (49%) and saccharides (36%, of which xylose comprises 41%). Therefore, Fr. 2 was presumed to be a low-molecular-weight compound consisting mainly of lignin and xylan-like polysaccharides. The hepatocyteprotective activity was observed even after digestion of xylan-like polysaccharides in Fr.2 and confirmed with lowmolecular- weight lignin (LM-lignin) alone. In addition, Fr.2, the xylan-digested Fr. 2 and LM-lignin showed higher superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity than the LEM extract. These results suggested that the effective fraction in the LEM extract related to hepatocyte protection consisted mainly of LM-lignin, and its antioxidant activity partially contributes to the hepatocyte-protective activity of the LEM extract.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Organic Chemistry