Chaga and AIDS Research

Courtesy The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms at

Ulrike Lindequist*, Timo H. J. Niedermeyer and Wolf-Dieter Jülich

Institute of Pharmacy, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strasse 17, 17487 Greifswald, Germany

High Molecular Compounds with Antiviral Activities

Water-soluble lignins isolated from Inonotus obliquus (Pers.: Fr.) Pilát, commonly known as ‘Chaga’, inhibited HIV protease with an IC 50 value of 2.5 µg ml–1 (26). Anti-HIV activities were reported for mycelial culture medium of L. edodes (LEM) and water-soluble lignin in LEM (27,28). Sulfated lentinan from L. edodes completely prevented HIV-induced cytopathic effect (29). The protein-bound polysaccharides PSK and PSP (to the differences between both substances see Table 1) from Trametes versicolor (L.: Fr.) Pilát [syn. Coriolus versicolor (L.: Fr.) Quelet] were also found to have an antiviral effect on HIV and cytomegalovirus in vitro (30). Besides immunostimulation, other effects of the polysaccharide–protein complexes contribute to the antiviral activity, e.g. inhibition of binding of HIV-1 gp120 to immobilized CD4 receptor and of reverse transcriptase activity of viruses (31). Inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase was caused by velutin, a ribosome inactivating protein from Flammulina velutipes (M. A. Curtis: Fr.) P. Karst., as well (32). The maitake D-fraction (MD-fraction) from Grifola frondosa (Dicks: F) S.F. Gray was tested in a long-term trial with 35 HIV patients. A total of 85% of responders reported an increased sense of well-being with regard to various symptoms and secondary diseases caused by HIV (Figure 3). Twenty patients showed an increase in CD4+ cell counts to 1.4–1.8 times and eight patients a decrease to 0.8–0.5 times (33).


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