Macrophage activation by edible mushrooms is due to the collaborative interaction of toll-like receptor agonists and dectin-1b activating beta glucans derived from colonizing microorganisms
Research supports the theory that the microbiome of plants and mushrooms produce potent activators of pathogen recognition receptors which are principal contributors to the stimulation of macrophages. We have previously reported that the in vitro macrophage stimulatory activity of water-soluble extracts from 13 different types of edible mushrooms is predominantly due to bacterial components originating from the naturally occurring bacterial communities within these materials. The purpose of the current study was to further investigate the bacterial-dependent activity of the water-soluble extracts and assess whether these 13 types of mushrooms contain water-insoluble beta glucans that activate the dectin-1b signaling pathway. Activity of the water-soluble extracts was predominantly due to Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR4 agonists. For dectin-1b-dependent activity (indicative of water-insoluble beta glucans), culinary mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus varieties) were essentially inactive, whereas most of the medicinal mushrooms (Lentinula edodes, Grifola frondosa, Hypsizygus marmoreus varieties, Flammulina velutipes) exhibited potent activation. A. bisporus samples with no detectable dectin-1b-dependent activity had yeast colony forming units that were 687 times lower than L. edodes exhibiting high activity, indicating that the active insoluble beta glucans are derived from colonizing yeast. In addition, co-stimulation of macrophages with the TLR agonists and insoluble beta glucan was found to result in a synergistic enhancement of in vitro cytokine production. Taken together, these findings indicate that the in vitro macrophage activating potential of edible mushrooms is due to the collaborative interaction of water-soluble TLR agonists (derived from colonizing bacteria) and water-insoluble beta glucans (derived from colonizing yeast).