Structural characterization of polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris and their hypolipidemic effects in high fat diet fed mice†
Cordyceps militaris is a crude dietary therapeutic mushroom with high nutritional and medicinal values. Mushroom-derived polysaccharides have been found to possess antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities. This study aimed to partially clarify the structural characterization and comparatively evaluate hypolipidemic potentials of intracellular- (IPCM) and extracellular polysaccharides of C. militaris (EPCM) in high fat diet fed mice. Results indicated that IPCM-2 is α-pyran polysaccharide with an average molecular weight of 32.5 kDa, was mainly composed of mannose, glucose and galactose with mass percentages of 51.94%, 10.54%, and 37.25%, respectively. EPCM-2 is an α-pyran polysaccharide with an average molecular weight of 20 kDa that is mainly composed of mannose, glucose and galactose with mass percentages of 44.51%, 18.33%, and 35.38%, respectively. In in vivo study, EPCM-1 treatment (100 mg kg−1 d−1) showed potential effects on improving serum lipid profiles of hyperlipidemic mice, reflected by decreasing serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels by 20.05%, 45.45% and 52.63%, respectively, while IPCM-1 treatment (100 mg kg−1 d−1) remarkably decreased TC, TG and LDL-C levels by 20.74%, 47.93%, and 38.25%, respectively. In addition, EPCM-1 ameliorated hyperlipidemia possibly through upregulating the expression of serum lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and down-regulating the expression of hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method, while IPCM-1 remarkably upregulated the expression of serum LPL. This study confirms polysaccharides from C. militaris could be explored as functional foods or natural medicines for preventing hyperlipidemia.