Volume 19 Part 1 Article 58
Title: Mushroom immunomodulation and germplasm: variation between and within mushroom species and perspectives for application.
Author: Arjen Schots, Ruud H.P. Wilbers, Lotte B. Westerhof, Betty C.A.M van Esch, Johan Garssen, Anton S.M. Sonnenberg
The fact that mushrooms modulate the immune system is well documented. Few studies compared the efficacy of different mushrooms species to modulate the immune system, whereas, an intraspecies comparison of strains has hardly been described. Our aim was to make this comparison between seven species and within the species Agaricus bisporus. The in vitro effect on dendritic cells (DCs) as key antigen presenting cells and on cocultures of DCs and T cells was assessed. Thereto, freeze dried pulverized mushrooms were added to ex vivo DCs and DC-T cell cocultures. In addition the effect of five A. bisporus strains on the development of allergy was assessed in vivo. Mice were fed a diet containing 5% freeze dried A. bisporus followed by a sensitization and finally a challenge with egg allergen. In both experiments the effect of cytokine secretion by immune cells was measured. In the in vivo experiment the acute allergen-specific skin response was measured as well as serum IgE and mast cell protease. The results revealed a large difference in cytokine secretion by immune cells as induced by different mushrooms species. Similar results were obtained when comparing different strains of A. bisporus. In the in vivo experiment it was shown that some A. bisporus strains alleviated the onset of egg allergy. This was shown using the acute allergen-specific skin response as well as through the measurement of various immune parameters using isolated immune cells. Taken together it was concluded that different mushroom species as well as different strains of one species differentially modulate the immune system. Some A. bisporus strains are promising candidates to alleviate the onset of allergy.