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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

Impact factor: 1.357

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v9.i1.30
pages 15-28

Neurotropic and Trophic Action of Lion's Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extracts on Nerve Cells in Vitro

Mykhaylo Moldavan
Oregon Health and Science University
Andriy P. Grygansky
National Agrarian University, Gerojiv Oborony St. 13, Build. 4, Kyiv 03041, Ukraine
Olena V. Kolotushkina
A. A. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Bogomoletz St. 4, Kyiv 01024, Ukraine
Burkhard Kirchhoff
Company Weser-Champignon, Neue Heerstr. 35, Hessisch-Oldendorf 31480, Germany
Galina G. Skibo
A. A. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Paola Pedarzani
University College London, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT, UK


The neurotropic and trophic effect of extract obtained from the edible and medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus on nerve cells was studied. Spike reactions of hippocampal neurons during application of H. erinaceus fruiting bodies extract were studied on rat brain slices in vitro, using whole-cell patch clamp recording. Spike activity was inhibited in a concentration-dependent, reversible manner in 34%−90% of studied neurons by extracts obtained with ethanol, ether, or broth. Extract suppressed the excitation of neurons caused by L-glutamic acid application. The assumption is made that the H. erinaceus extract contains substances that may activate receptors that cause an inhibition of spike activity. The inhibitory effect of extract was not induced by GABA and serotonin receptor activation or activation of M- and N-cholinoreceptors. Inhibition of spike activity was caused by hyperpolarization of the neuronal membrane during extract application. The hyperpolarization was accompanied by an increase of apamin-sensitive Ca-activated K+ current (IAHP) and apamin-insensitive, slow Ca-activated K+ current (sIAHP), but it was not caused by an increase of inward rectifier K+ current (I(ir)) or by changes of hyperpolarization-activated cationic currents (I(h)). The effect of the extract was observed in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting that the extract acts postsynaptically. Extract application did not suppress biochemical processes in cell respiratory circuits. The extract did not affect the regenerating abilities of the neurons and glial cells of the cerebellum and hippocampus. It was demonstrated that the H. erinaceus extract concentrate exerted neurotropic action and improved the myelination process in the mature myelinating fibers, did not affect nerve cell growth in vitro, and did not evoke a toxic effect or nerve cell damage.