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05.05.2016 | Original Contribution | Ausgabe 4/2017

European Journal of Nutrition 4/2017

Agaricus brasiliensis (sun mushroom) affects the expression of genes related to cholesterol homeostasis

European Journal of Nutrition > Ausgabe 4/2017
Aline Mayrink de Miranda, Joamyr Victor Rossoni Júnior, Lorena Souza e Silva, Rinaldo Cardoso dos Santos, Marcelo Eustáquio Silva, Maria Lúcia Pedrosa



The sun mushroom (Agaricus brasiliensis) is considered a major source of bioactive compounds with potential health benefits. Mushrooms typically act as lipid-lowering agents; however, little is known about the mechanisms of action of A. brasiliensis in biological systems. This study aimed to determine the underlying mechanism involved in the cholesterol-lowering effect of A. brasiliensis through the assessment of fecal and serum lipid profiles in addition to gene expression analysis of specific transcription factors, enzymes, and transporters involved in cholesterol homeostasis.


Twenty-four albino Fischer rats approximately 90 days old, with an average weight of 205 g, were divided into four groups of 6 each and fed a standard AIN-93 M diet (C), hypercholesterolemic diet (H), hypercholesterolemic diet +1 % A. brasiliensis (HAb), or hypercholesterolemic diet +0.008 % simvastatin (HS) for 6 weeks. Simvastatin was used as a positive control, as it is a typical drug prescribed for lipid disorders. Subsequently, blood, liver, and feces samples were collected for lipid profile and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction gene expression analyses.


Diet supplementation with A. brasiliensis significantly improved serum lipid profiles, comparable to the effect observed for simvastatin. In addition, A. brasiliensis dietary supplementation markedly promoted fecal cholesterol excretion. Increased expression of 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), ATP-binding cassette subfamily G-transporters (ABCG5/G8), and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) was observed following A. brasiliensis administration.


Our results suggest that consumption of A. brasiliensis improves the serum lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic rats by modulating the expression of key genes involved in hepatic cholesterol metabolism.

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