Antrodia camphorata (AC) is a commonly used fungus in folk medicine for the treatment of viral hepatitis and cancer. AC polysaccharides (AC-PS) are reported to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatitis B virus, and anticancer activities. In this study, we tested the in vivo effect of AC-PS on immune function by evaluating cytokine expression; on immunomodulation, by evaluating spleen cells; and on Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice. The induction of high levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA was detected in BALB/c mice after 2, 4, and 6 weeks of oral AC-PS administration. After 6 weeks of oral AC-PS administration to the BALB/c mice, the number of splenic dendritic cells, macrophages, and the surface expression of CD8α+ and major histocompatibility class II I-A/I-E on dendritic cells increased. The CD4+/CD8+ ratio and number of B cells among splenocytes were also augmented. By using a disease model of parasitic infection, we found that AC-PS treatment inhibited S. mansoni infection in BALB/c mice. AC-PS appears to modulate the immune system of mice and has potential for preventing S. mansoni infection.
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