When ergothioneine was administered to rats for 7 d, the pentobarbital sleeping time was reduced significantly. This action was specific to ergothioneine and was not shown by various ergothioneine-related compounds (cysteine, glutathione, carnitine and histidine). This action of ergothioneine did not appear to be caused by induction of the drug-metabolizing enzyme system. The level of ergothioneine in the liver decreased markedly when phenobarbital or ethionine was administered to rats. Ergothioneine inhibited hepatic injury and significantly decreased the level of lipid peroxide induced by ethionine administration.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan