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Clinical data
Synonyms (2S,3R,4S,5S,6R)-2-[(2S,3R,4S,5R,6R)-2-[(2S,3R,4S,5R,6R)-2-[(2R,3R,4S,5R,6S)-3,5-dihydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)-6-[(2R,3R,4S,5R,6R)-2,3,5-trihydroxy-6-[[(2R,3R,4S,5S,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxymethyl]oxan-4-yl]oxyoxan-4-yl]oxy-3,5-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-4-yl]oxy-3,5-dihydroxy-6-[[(2R,3R,4S,5S,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxymethyl]oxan-4-yl]oxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-3,4,5-triol
AHFS/Drugs.com International Drug Names
ATC code
CAS Number
PubChem CID
  • none
Chemical and physical data
Formula C42H72O36
Molar mass 1152.99948 g/mol
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Lentinan is a polysaccharide isolated from the fruit body of shiitake (Lentinula edodes mycelium.


Lentinan is a β-1,3 beta-glucan with β-1,6 branching. It has a molecular weight of 500,000 Da and specific rotation of +14-22° (NaOH).


Lentinan has been approved as an adjuvant for stomach cancer in Japan since 1985.[1] Lentinan is one of the host-mediated anti-cancer drugs which has been shown to affect host defense immune systems.


Pre-clinical studies[edit]

An in vitro experiment showed lentinan stimulated production of white blood cells in the human cell line U937.[2] Lentinan is thought to be inactive in humans when given orally and is therefore administered intravenously. The authors of an in vivo study of lentinan suggested that the compound may be when administered orally in mice.[3]

Human clinical trials[edit]

Lentinan has been the subject of a limited number of clinical studies in cancer patients in Japan.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] however evidence of its efficacy for such purposes is lacking.[12][13]

Adverse effects[edit]

Lentinan has been reported to cause shiitake mushroom dermatitis.[14]

Formulations containing Lentinan[edit]

Lentinex is a beta-glucan formulation containing lentinan which is marketed as a novel food in the EU.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith JE; Rowan NJ; Sullivan R (2001). Medicinal Mushrooms: Their Therapeutic Properties and Current Medical Usage with Special Emphasis on Cancer Treatments. Cancer Research UK. 
  2. ^ Sia GM; Candlish JK (Mar 1999). "Effects of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) extract on human neutrophils and the U937 monocytic cell line". Phytotherapy Research. 13 (2): 133–7. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199903)13:2<133::AID-PTR398>3.0.CO;2-O. PMID 10190187. 
  3. ^ Ng ML; Yap AT (Oct 2002). "Inhibition of human colon carcinoma development by lentinan from shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes)". Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. National University of Singapore. 8 (5): 581–9. doi:10.1089/107555302320825093. PMID 12470439. 
  4. ^ Yang P; Liang M; Zhang Y; Shen B (Aug 2008). "Clinical application of a combination therapy of lentinan, multi-electrode RFA and TACE in HCC". Advances in Therapy. 25 (8): 787–94. doi:10.1007/s12325-008-0079-x. PMID 18670743. 
  5. ^ Nimura H; Mitsumori N; Takahashi N; et al. (Jun 2006). "[S-1 combined with lentinan in patients with unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer]". Gan to Kagaku Ryoho (in Japanese). 33 (1): 106–9. PMID 16897983. 
  6. ^ Nakano H; Namatame K; Nemoto H; Motohashi H; Nishiyama K; Kumada K. (1999). "A multi-institutional prospective study of lentinan in advanced gastric cancer patients with unresectable and recurrent diseases: effect on prolongation of survival and improvement of quality of life. Kanagawa Lentinan Research Group". Hepatogastroenterology. 46 (28): 2662–8. PMID 10522061. 
  7. ^ Oba K, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, Kodera Y, Sakamoto J (July 2009). "Individual Patient Based Meta-analysis of Lentinan for Unresectable/Recurrent Gastric Cancer". Anticancer Research. 29 (7): 2739–45. PMID 19596954. 
  8. ^ Hazama S, Watanabe S, Ohashi M, et al. (July 2009). "Efficacy of Orally Administered Superfine Dispersed Lentinan (β-1,3-Glucan) for the Treatment of Advanced Colorectal Cancer". Anticancer Research. 29 (7): 2611–2617. PMID 19596936. 
  9. ^ Kataoka H, Shimura T, Mizoshita T, et al. (2009). "Lentinan with S-1 and paclitaxel for gastric cancer chemotherapy improve patient quality of life". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (90): 547–50. PMID 19579640. 
  10. ^ Isoda N, Eguchi Y, Nukaya H, et al. (2009). "Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (β-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (90): 437–41. PMID 19579616. 
  11. ^ Shimizu K, Watanabe S, Watanabe S, et al. (2009). "Efficacy of oral administered superfine dispersed lentinan for advanced pancreatic cancer". Hepatogastroenterology. 56 (89): 240–4. PMID 19453066. 
  12. ^ "Lentinan". WebMD. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Lentinan". Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  14. ^ Nakamura, T (1992). "Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) dermatitis". Contact Dermatitis. 27 (2): 65–70. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1992.tb05211.x. PMID 1395630. 
  15. ^ EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2010), "Scientific Opinion on the safety of "Lentinus edodes extract" (Lentinex®) as a Novel Food ingredient" (PDF), EFSA Journal, 7 (8): 1685, doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1685 


  • Chihara, G. et al. "Fractionation and purification of the polysaccharides with marked antitumor activity, especially lentinan, from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (an edible mushroom)", Cancer Research (1970),30(11):2776-2781.
  • Ina, K. et al. "Lentinan prolonged survival in patients with gastric cancer receiving S-1-based chemotherapy", World Journal of Clinical Oncology (2011),2(10):339-343.
  • Bao H, Sun L, Zhu Y, Ran P, Hu W, Zhu K, Li B, Hou Y, Nie J, Gao T, Shan L, Du K, Zheng S, Zheng B, Xiao C, Du J (2017). "Lentinan produces a robust antidepressant-like effect via enhancing the prefrontal Dectin-1/AMPA receptor signaling pathway". Behav. Brain Res. 317: 263–271. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2016.09.062. PMID 27693847. 

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