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Antimetastatic Effects of P5K (Krestin), a Protein-bound Polysaccharide Obtained from Basidiomycetes: An Overview

P5K, a protein-bound polysaccharide obtained from cultured mycelia of Coriolus versicolor in basidiomycetes, is a biological response modifier, diverse operations of which include an antitumor action. We have previously reviewed recent research which had demonstrated that in animals


The immunomodulating action of two mushroom antitumor polysaccharides, polysaccharide-protein complex (PSPC) and lentinan, was elucidated through analysing the expression profile of cytokines during a time course (0 h to 48 h) after their administration. Among the 5 cytokine genes, the induction of a marked increase in the mRNA levels of IL-la, IL-lp, TNF-a, IFN-)I and M-CSF by PSPC and lentinan was observed in the peritoneal exudate cells and splenocytes. However, the time point of their increased production was different after PSPC and lentinan administration.

An effect of adjuvant immunochemotherapy using krestin and 5-FU on gastric cancer patients with radical surgery (first report)–a randomized controlled trial by the cooperative study group. Study Group of Immuno-chemotherapy with PSK for Gastric Cancer

To evaluate the efficacy of PSK for adjuvant immuno-chemotherapy in patients who had undergone radical gastrectomy, a randomized controlled trial has been in progress in collaboration with 46 institutions in the Chubu district of Japan. A total of 262 patients were registered for this trial during the two years from July 1985 to June 1987 with a centralized registration system, and were allocated into the 5-FU+PSK group (Group P) and 5-FU alone group (Group C) by the minimization method following the random permuted blocks method […]

Alternating immunotherapy of advanced gastric carcinoma: A randomized comparison of carbazilquinone and PSK to carbazilquinone in patients with curative gastric resection

A total of 103 patients with advanced gastric carcinoma were randomized after curative surgery to receive an alternate administration of carabzilquinone (CQ) and PSK (Krestin) or carbazilquinone alone. Each course of therapies started 1 week after the surgical operation and therapy schedules consisted of 9 courses. In each course of 6 weeks, CQ was administered on day 0, 8, and 15. In combined immunochemotherapy group, PSK was given orally in 3-divided doses of 2g/m^2/day from the day of the third CQ administration for consecutive 4 weeks. Estimated survival rate and cumulative survival curve [….]

Modulation of cytokine expression by traditional medicines: a review of herbal immunomodulators.

The in vitro and in vivo research demonstrates that the reviewed botanical medicines modulate the secretion of multiple cytokines. The reported therapeutic success of these plants by traditional cultures and modern clinicians may be partially due to their effects on cytokines. Phytotherapy offers a potential therapeutic modality for the treatment of many differing conditions involving cytokines. Given the activity demonstrated by many of the reviewed herbal medicines and the increasing awareness of the broad-spectrum effects of cytokines on autoimmune conditions and chronic degenerative processes, further study of phytotherapy for cytokine-related diseases and syndromes is warranted.[…]

Induction of cell cycle changes and modulation of apoptogenic/anti-apoptotic and extracellular signaling regulatory protein expression by water extracts of I’m-Yunity (PSP).

Aqueous extracts of I’m-Yunity (PSP) induces cell cycle arrest and alterations in the expression of apoptogenic/anti-apoptotic and extracellular signaling regulatory proteins in human leukemia cells, the net result being suppression of proliferation and increase in apoptosis. These findings may contribute to the reported clinical and overall health effects of I’m-Yunity (PSP).[…]

Effects of polysaccharide peptides from COV-1 strain of Coriolus versicolor on glutathione and glutathione-related enzymes in the mouse.

The effects of polysaccharide peptide (PSP), an immunomodulator isolated from Coriolus versicolor COV-1, on glutathione (GSH) and GSH-related enzymes was investigated in C57 mouse. Administration of PSP (1-4 micromole/kg, i.p.) produced a transient, dose-dependent depletion (10-37%) of hepatic GSH, with no effect on serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) activity. Blood GSH was depleted (6-25%) at 3 h, followed by a rebound increase above the control GSH level (20%) at 18 h. The GSSG/GSH ratio, a measure of oxidative stress, was increased 3 h after PSP treatment but returned to normal levels at 24 h. Sub-chronic treatment of PSP (1-4 micromole/kg/day, i.p.) for seven days did not produce any significant changes in hepatic GSH levels and the GSSG/GSH ratio when measured 24 h after the final dose of PSP. PSP had little effect on glutathione transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GSSG reductase) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities in the liver. However, a dose-dependent increase in blood GPX activity (30-48%) was observed at 3h, which coincided with the increase in the GSSG/GSH ratio. The increase in blood GPX activity may be a responsive measure to deal with the transient oxidative stress induced by PSP treatment. The results showed that PSP only caused a transient perturbation on hepatic glutathione without affecting the GSH-related enzymes such as GST, GSSG reductase and GPX. The observed changes in blood GSH simply reflected the intra-organ translocation of glutathione, as the glutathione-related enzymes were not significantly affected by PSP treatment.[…]

The immunomodulator PSK induces in vitro cytotoxic activity in tumour cell lines via arrest of cell cycle and induction of apoptosis.

These results indicate that PSK has cytotoxic activity in vitro on tumour cell lines. This new cytotoxic activity of PSK on tumour cells is independent of its previously described immunomodulatory activity on NK cells.

Evaluation of widely consumed botanicals as immunological adjuvants.

Some, but not all, botanicals purported to be immune stimulants had adjuvant activity in our model. PSK and Astragalus were surprisingly active and are being further fractionated to identify the most active adjuvant components.

Immune System Genes Show Links to Type 1 Diabetes – By Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) — The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but international researchers have found a link between the blood sugar disorder and a network of immune system genes.[…]