Phytochemical profiles and inhibitory effects of Tiger Milk mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerus) extract on ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in a rodent model of asthma

M. Johnathan, S. H. Gan, M. F.Wan Ezumi, A. H. Faezahtul, A. A. Nurul

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Background: Lignosus rhinocerus (L. rhinocerus), which is known locally as Tiger Milk mushroom, is traditionally used in the treatment of asthma by indigenous communities in Malaysia. However, to date, its efficacy on asthma has not been confirmed by scientific studies and there is also sparse information available on its active constituents. In this study, the volatile constituent of L. rhinocerus hot water extract was investigated using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The potential effects of L. rhinocerus extract for anti-asthmatic activity was further investigated on ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized asthmatic Sprague Dawley rats. Methods: Sequential extraction using five solvents (petroleum ether, diethyl ether, hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol) was conducted prior to GC-MS analysis. Male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into the following four groups of five animals each: 1) normal rats, 2) sensitization plus OVA-challenged rats 3) sensitization plus OVA-challenged with L. rhinocerus treatment and 4) sensitization plus OVA-challenged with dexamethasone treatment. The levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the serum and T-helper 2 cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), as well as eosinophil infiltration in the lungs, were investigated. Results: GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of five main groups (alkane, fatty acids, benzene, phenol and dicarboxylic acid) with a total of 18 constituents. Linoleic acid (21.35 %), octadecane (11.82 %) and 2,3-dihydroxypropyl elaidate (10.47 %) were present in high amounts. The extract significantly ameliorated the increase in total IgE in serum and IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 levels in BALF and also effectively suppressed eosinophils numbers in BALF while attenuating eosinophil infiltrations in the lungs. Conclusion:L. rhinocerus hot water extract has the potential to be used as an alternative for the treatment of acute asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway inflammation
  • Asthma
  • GC-MS
  • Lignosus rhinocerus
  • Linoleic acid
  • Tiger milk mushroom

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