NYMC Faculty Publications

Time-Dependent Dual Beneficial Modulation of Interferon-Γ, Interleukin 5, and Treg Cytokines in Asthma Patient Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells by Ganoderic Acid B

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Phytotherapy Research : PTR

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Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


Th2 cytokines play a dominant role in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. Interferon gamma (IFN-γ), a Th1 cytokine, links to therapeutic mechanisms of allergic asthma. Interleukin (IL)-10, a regulatory cytokine, is involved in the induction of immune tolerance. We previously demonstrated that Anti-Asthma Simplified Herbal Medicine Intervention (ASHMI) suppressed Th2 and increased IFN-γ in patients with asthma and in animal models, but its bioactive compound is unknown. Ganoderic acid beta (GAB) was isolated from Ganoderma lucidum (one herb in ASHMI). Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from adult patients with asthma were cultured with GAB or dexamethasone (Dex) in the presence of environmental allergens. The cytokine levels of IL-10, IFN-γ, IL-5, transcription factors T-bet, Foxp-3, and GATA3 were measured. Following 3-day culture, GAB, but not Dex, significantly increased IL-10 and IFN-γ levels by allergic patients' PBMCs. Following 6-day treatment, GAB inhibited IL-5 production, but IL-10 and IFN-γ remained high. Dex suppressed production of all three cytokines. GAB suppressed GATA3 and maintained Foxp-3 and T-bet gene expression, while Dex significantly suppressed GATA3 and T-bet expression. GAB simultaneously increased IL-10, IFN-γ associated with induction of T-bet and Foxp3, while suppressing IL-5, which was associated with suppression of GATA3, demonstrating unique beneficial cytokine modulatory effect, which distinguishes from Dex's overall suppression.