Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides from the mycelium of Aspergillus cristatus, isolated from Fuzhuan brick tea, associated with the regulation of intestinal barrier function and gut microbiota
Food Res Int. 2022 Feb;152:110901. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2021.110901. Epub 2021 Dec 16.
Aspergillus cristatus is the dominant fungus involved in the fermentation of Fuzhuan brick tea (FBT). The intracellular polysaccharides (IPSs) from A. cristatus (MK346334, NCBI), isolated from FBT, exhibited immunomodulatory activity in vitro while the effects in vivo on immune system and gut microbiota remain unclear. In this study, IPSs and the purified fraction (IPSs-2) from IPSs were prepared and their immunomodulatory activities were investigated with cyclophosphamide (Cy)-induced immunosuppressive mice. As results, IPSs strengthened the immune function, manifesting in the improvement of body weight, daily intake, immune organ indices, cytokines and immunoglobulin. Meanwhile, IPSs attenuated Cy-induced intestinal barrier injury and promoted the expression of tight junction proteins and mucin, reinforcing the intestinal barrier function. Moreover, IPSs not only promoted the production of short-chain fatty acids and the expression of G protein-coupled receptor (GPR), but also balanced dysbiosis of gut microbiota through elevating the growth of beneficial bacteria while reducing pathobionts to maintain the homeostasis of the microbial ecology. These results suggested that IPSs exerted immunomodulatory activity linking with the restoration of intestinal barrier function and regulation of gut microbiota, which contributes to the development of novel probiotics and effective immunomodulators for strengthening host immunity and gut health.