Heterogalactan WPEP-N-b from Pleurotus eryngii enhances immunity in immunocompromised mice

Lei Chen, Ai Ren, Yushi Wang, Yunhe Qu, Hesong Gong, Kevin H. Mayo, Yifa Zhou, Hairong Cheng

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This study reports on in vivo immunomodulatory activities mediated by WPEP-N-b, a heterogalactan from Pleurotus eryngii. Using cyclophosphamide (CTX)–induced immunosuppressed mice, we demonstrate here that WPEP-N-b enhances immunity as determined by the immune organ index, peripheral blood immune cell content, splenocyte proliferation, NK cell activity and T lymphocyte subpopulations. WPEP-N-b prevented apoptosis of bone marrow cells induced by CTX. The level of cytokines (i.e. TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β) and macrophage activity in these immunocompromised mice were restored upon treated with WPEP-N-b. Mechanistically, it appears that WPEP-N-b enhances splenocyte proliferation and NK cell activity might through the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-PKC signaling axis, and increases macrophage activity by activating JNK, p38 and NF-κB signaling pathways and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is the possible receptor of WPEP-N-b in macrophages. Our findings indicate that WPEP-N-b may function as a natural immune stimulant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1020
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Jan 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant number 32101025 ], the Scientific and Technologic Foundation of Jilin Province [grant number YDZJ202101ZYTS001 ], and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [grant number 2412021ZD001 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression
  • Galactans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Pleurotus eryngii
  • Polysaccharides

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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