The Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola gargal, Ameliorates Allergic Bronchial Asthma



Grifola gargal Singer, a medicinal mushroom, has been found to be effective for the prevention and treatment of various chronic inflammatory diseases. However, the effects of G. gargal on allergic diseases are unknown. The present study investigated the effect of G. gargal extract on allergic bronchial asthma. Asthma was induced in mice by ovalbumin sensitization and inhalation. The grade of asthma was compared between mice fed with chow containing G. gargal extract and mice given standard chow. The human mast cell and eosinophilic cell lines were used for in vitro studies. G. gargal extract significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, lung eosinophilic infiltration, lung interleukin (IL)-13 expression, and plasma IgE level and significantly increased IL-10 plasma levels compared to untreated control mice. Spleen regulatory T cells were significantly increased in mice treated with the G. gargal extract compared with untreated control mice. G. gargal extract significantly suppressed expression of cytokines in mast cells and eosinophils compared with control cells. Overall, these observations show that G. gargal extract augments the lung population of regulatory T cells and ameliorates allergic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in mice with allergic bronchial asthma, suggesting the potential therapeutic benefit of G. gargal extract in allergic diseases.