This study investigated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and the direct cytotoxic effect of Lignosus rhinocerotis fractions, especially the polysaccharide fraction, on nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. L. rhinocerotis crude extract was obtained through hot water extraction. The precipitate saturated with 30% ammonium sulfate was purified with ion-exchanged chromatography. Gel permeation chromatography multiangle laser light scattering analysis equipped with light scattering and UV signals revealed two district groups of polymers. A total of four peaks were observed in the total carbohydrate test. Fraction C, which was the second region of the second peak eluted with 0.3 M NaOH, showed the highest integrated molecular weight, whereas fraction E had the lowest integrated molecular weight of 19,790 Da. Fraction A contained the highest β-D-glucan content. Enzymatic analysis showed that most of the polysaccharide fractions contained β-1-3 and β-1-6 skeletal backbones. The peak eluted with 0.6 M NaOH was separated in fraction D (flask 89-92) and fraction E (93-96). The results showed that fraction E expressed higher antioxidant activities than fraction D whereas fraction D expressed higher chelating activity than fraction E. The extract saturated with 30% ammonium sulfate exhibited higher reducing power than the extract saturated with 100% ammonium sulfate. Fractions D and E significantly inhibited the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. There was no apparent difference in the viability of cells exposed or unexposed to L. rhinocerotis fractions.
This study evaluated the in vitro antioxidant capacities of extracts from Pleurotus pulmonarius via Folin-Ciocalteu, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging, metal chelating, cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity, and lipid peroxidation inhibition assays. Extract compositions were determined by phenol-sulfuric acid; Coomassie Plus (Bradford) protein; Spectroquant zinc, copper, and manganese test assays; and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Methanol-dichloromethane extract, water fraction, hot water, aqueous extract and hexane fraction exhibited the most potent extracts in the antioxidant activities. LC/MS/MS and GC/MS showed that the extracts contained ergothioneine, ergosterol, flavonoid, and phenolic compounds. The selected potent extracts were evaluated for their inhibitory effect against oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins and protective effects against hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxic injury in human aortic endothelial cells. The crude aqueous extract was deemed most potent for the prevention of human low-density lipoprotein oxidation and endothelial membrane damage. Ergothioneine might be the compound responsible for the activities, as supported by previous reports. Thus, P. pulmonarius may be a valuable antioxidant ingredient in functional foods or nutraceuticals.
Neurodegenerative disease is defined as a deterioration of the nervous system in the intellectual and cognitive capabilities. Statistics show that more than 80-90 million individuals age 65 and above in 2050 may be affected by neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Studies have shown that out of 2000 different types of edible and/or medicinal mushrooms, only a few countable mushrooms have been selected until now for neurohealth activity. Hericium erinaceus is one of the well-established medicinal mushrooms for neuronal health. It has been documented for its regenerative capability in peripheral nerve. Another mushroom used as traditional medicine is Lignosus rhinocerotis, which has been used for various illnesses. It has been documented for its neurite outgrowth potential in PC12 cells. Based on the regenerative capabilities of both the mushrooms, priority was given to select them for our study. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of H. erinaceus and L. rhinocerotis to stimulate neurite outgrowth in dissociated cells of brain, spinal cord, and retina from chick embryo when compared to brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Neurite outgrowth activity was confirmed by the immu-nofluorescence method in all tissue samples. Treatment with different concentrations of extracts resulted in neuronal differentiation and neuronal elongation. H. erinaceus extract at 50 µg/mL triggered neurite outgrowth at 20.47%, 22.47%, and 21.70% in brain, spinal cord, and retinal cells. L. rhinocerotis sclerotium extract at 50 µg/mL induced maximum neurite outgrowth of 20.77% and 24.73% in brain and spinal cord, whereas 20.77% of neurite outgrowth was observed in retinal cells at 25 µg/mL, respectively.
Pleurotus porrigens is a well-known edible, wild mushroom enjoyed as a delicacy by aborigines in Sabah and as source of income for the aborigines who collect and sell them at tamu (local market). This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant activity in vitro and identify potent antioxidative components of aqueous extracts of P. porrigens. The antioxidant activities were evaluated using DPPH radical scavenging ability, ABTS radical cation inhibition activity, ferric reducing/antioxidant power, and total phenolic content. Activity-guided purifications based on DPPH radical scavenging ability resulted in 5 subfractions (SF). The highest DPPH radical scavenging ability was found in SF-III and SF-IV, but all were lower than butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and α-tocopherol. Analysis with high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detectors found presence of ascorbic acid and (+)-catechin in SFs of P. porrigens, as well as some unidentified components that may have contributed to the radical scavenging ability. In conclusion, aqueous extract of P. porrigens possesses promising antioxidant activities, although they are lesser in their partially purified SFs. Nonetheless, P. porrigens could be promoted as an antioxidant-rich food as part of a normal diet that provides antioxidative benefit.
Spaceflight represents a complex environmental condition. Space mutagenesis breeding has achieved marked results over the years. The objective of this study is to determine the chemical changes in medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum cultivated after spaceflight in 1999. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) correlation spectroscopy were used in analysis. The sample Sx and its control Cx showed the least dissimilarities in one-dimensional FTIR spectra, but absorbance of Sx is twice as high as Cx. Sx presented a clear peak at 1648 cm in 2nd derivative spectra, which could not be detected in the Cx. The 2DIR spectra showed the intensity of Sx in the range 1800-1400 cm-1 for protein is higher than the control. The sample Sx produced some carbohydrate peaks in the area of 889 cm-1 compared with the Cx. The spaceflight set up an extreme condition and caused changes of chemical properties in G. lucidum strain.
In general, Cordyceps sinensis is much more popular than C. militaris, though both species contain quite similar bioactive ingredients and exhibit medicinal activities. Many bioactive ingredients have been isolated from C. militaris, such as adenosine, cordycepin, D-mannitol, and exopolysaccharides. C. militaris is claimed to have extensive pharmacological properties, such as: anti-inflammatory; anti-fatigue; anti-bacterial; anti-diabetic; improve lung, liver, and kidney functions; to be beneficial for treating cancer as well as male and female sexual dysfunctions. C. militaris is fast gaining momentum for its so-called health benefits, and it is often used as a substitute for C. sinensis. In view of the growing popularity of C. militaris, nowadays C. militaris cultivation for stroma is also done. There is a great diversity of compounds from different strains of Cordyceps and different artificially cultivated products. This study is to determine the optimum culture parameters integrated with substrate of choice to bring the indoor-cultivated C. militaris to a higher and more consistent level of quality. To achieve the above objective, the resultant products after growth were analyzed for adenosine, cordycepin, and D-mannitol using the high-performance liquid chromatography method. The optimum culture condition to produce a high level of adenosine is by using millet as solid substrate. It must be cultivated in the dark for the first 7 days and harvested on day 40. The optimum culture condition to produce a high level of cordycepin is by using soybean as solid substrate. It must be cultivated in the dark for the first 14 days and harvested on day 50. While a high level of D-mannitol is achieved with millet as the solid substrate. It must be kept in the dark for the first 7 days and harvested on day 50. The adenosine level decreased and cordycepin increased from day 40 of culture to day 50 generally.
A central composite design of response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to optimize the extraction time (X1: 266.4-393.6 min) and temperature (X2: 42.9-57.1°C) of Pleurotus ostreatus aqueous extract with high antioxidant activities, namely DPPH radical-scavenging activity, ABTS radical cation inhibition, and ferric reducing/antioxidant power, as well as total phenolic content (TPC). Results showed that the data were adequately fitted into four second-order polynomial models developed by RSM. The extraction time and temperature were found to have significant quadratic effects on antioxidant activities and TPC. The optimal extraction time and temperature were 282.3 min and 42.9°C (DPPH), 393.6 min and 42.9°C (ABTS), 340.4 min and 49.8°C (FRAP), and 347.6 min, 49.7°C (TPC), with corresponding yields of 53.32%, 73.20%, 37.14 mM Fe2+ equivalents/100 g, and 826.33 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g, respectively. These experimental data were close to their predicted values. The establishment of such a model provides a good experimental basis for employing RSM to optimize the extraction time and temperature for high antioxidant activities from P. ostreatus.
We present a model case study of the activity of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus fresh fruit bodies in promoting functional recovery following crush injury to the peroneal nerve in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats. The aim was to explore the possible use of this mushroom in nerve repair. The activities of aqueous extract were compared to activities exhibited by mecobalamin (vitamin B12), which has been widely used in the treatment of peripheral nerve disorders. Analysis of walking track indicated that return of hind limb function and normal toe spreading occurred earlier in treated groups than in the negative control (non-treated) group. Regeneration of axons and reinnervation of motor endplates/neuromuscular junction in extensor digitorum longus muscle of rats in treated groups developed better than in the negative control group. Further, immunofluorescence studies also showed that dorsal root ganglia neurons ipsilateral to the crush injury in rats of treated groups expressed higher immunoreactivities for Akt and MAPK signaling pathways as well as c-Jun and c-Fos genes compared to the negative control group. Akt cascade plays a major role in mediating neurotrophin-promoted cell survival, while MAPK cascade is involved in mediating neurite outgrowth. Immediate early gene expression was also involved in the cascade of events leading to regeneration. Local axonal protein synthetic machinery was also enhanced in the distal segments of crushed nerves in treated groups. Therefore, daily oral administration of H. erinaceus could promote the regeneration of injured rat peroneal nerve in the early stage of recovery.
The oxidative stability of sunflower oil supplemented with medicinal split gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune's crude extract (CE), the formic acid (FA) fraction and semipurified subfractions (SF) II and IV were tested, compared to BHA and alpha-tocopherol, by measuring their peroxide value, iodine value, p-anisidine value, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, and free fatty acid content. Their total phenolic content (TPC), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging, and ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) were also evaluated. FA and CE exhibited highest DPPH* scavenging, while FA and SFIV showed the highest FRAP; TPC was found to be highest in CE, FA, and SFIV. BHA and alpha-tocopherol are more protective in stabilizing the sunflower oil; SFII and SFIV had short-term protective effect in secondary oxidation for 1 year, while CE and FA retarded secondary oxidation and extended the shelf life 1 1/2 years and 2 years, respectively. HPLC-DAD analysis found (+)-catechin in Sch. commune's extracts. Sch. commune's extracts did not show similar retardation of lipid oxidation in sunflower oil as compared to alpha-tocopherol and BHA at the 200 ppm level. However, the higher concentration of Sch. commune's extract that provided the protective effect in stabilizing sunflower oil can be further studied.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of topical application of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus fruiting bodies (HEFB) on the rate of wound healing enclosure and histology of the healed wound. Five groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were experimentally wounded in the posterior neck area. A uniform wound area of 2.00 cm in diameter, using a circular stamp, was excised from the nape of the dorsal neck of all rats with the aid of a round seal. The animal groups were topically treated, respectively, with 0.2 mL each of sterilized distilled water (sdH2O); Intrasite gel; and 20, 30, and 40 mg/mL HEFB. Macroscopically, those rats whose wounds were dressed with HEFB and those in the Intrasite gel-treated group healed earlier than those treated with sdH2O. Histological analysis of healed wounds dressed with HEFB showed less scar width at wound enclosure and the healed wound contained fewer macrophages and more collagen with angiogenesis, compared to wounds dressed with sdH2O. In conclusion, wounds dressed with HEFB significantly enhanced the acceleration of wound healing enclosure in rats.
The present study aims to assess the antioxidant activities (AOA) and total phenolic content (TPC) of water extracts of selected edible wild mushrooms: Pleurotus porrigens, Schizophyllum commune, Hygrocybe conica, and Lentinus ciliatus. The AOA were evaluated against DPPH radical and ABTS radical cation scavenging ability, ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and beta-carotene-linoleate bleaching (beta-CB) assays, and the Folin-Ciocalteu method for TPC. BHA was used as reference. P. porrigens showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) DPPH* scavenging ability (90.78 +/- 0.30%) and FRAP (6.37 +/- 0.22 mM FE/100g), while Sch. commune showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) ABTS*+ inhibition activity (94.96 +/- 0.70%) and beta-CB inhibition activity (94.18 +/- 0.17%), respectively. TPC was found in a descending order of P. poriggens > L. ciliatus = Pleurotus ostreatus (cultivated) > H. conica = Sch. commune. Positive correlation was observed between the AOA and TPC. When compared to BHA (2 mM), P. porrigens showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) DPPH* scavenging ability and reducing power, while Sch. commune showed comparable DPPH* scavenging ability and ABTS*+ inhibition activity. All the mushrooms have better ABTS*+ inhibition activity than BHA (1 mM). The beta-CB inhibition activity of BHA was significantly higher than those of edible wild mushrooms. The water extracts of edible wild mushrooms showed potent antioxidant activities compared to BHA to a certain extent.
The aim of this study was to determine the antiulcer activity of Lignosus rhinocerotis in rats. A total of 48 Sprague-Dawley rats were used in ethanol-induced, aspirin-induced, and water immersion-restraint stress-induced ulcer models. Rats were equally divided into 4 groups for each model and orally administered 5 mL/kg distilled water, 20 mg/kg omeprazole, as well as 250 and 500 mg/kg of L. rhinocerotis powder. L. rhinocerotis powder at both 250 and 500 mg/kg doses demonstrated significant (P < 0.05) protection against gastric ulceration in all the induced ulcer models. Histological studies revealed severe damage and hemorrhage of gastric mucosa in the negative control group for all ulcer-induced models. The study suggests that L. rhinocerotis powder possesses dose-dependent antiulcer activity in the gastric mucosa, as ascertained grossly and histologically, compared with the negative control groups.
The edible mushroom Pleurotus giganteus was tested for its effect on adipocyte differentiation and glucose uptake activity in 3T3-L1 cells. The basidiocarps of P. giganteus were soaked in methanol to obtain a crude methanol extract and then fractionated to obtain an ethyl acetate extract. In this study, cell proliferation was measured using an MTT assay, lipid accumulation using an Oil Red O assay, and glucose uptake using a fluorescence glucose uptake assay. Gene expression was measured via real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis with TaqMan primer. Ethyl acetate extract significantly enhanced adipogenic differentiation and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes via the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, and phos-phatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt. Glucose uptake was facilitated by the highly expressed glucose transporters Glut1 and Glut4. Taken together, these results suggest that P. giganteus ethyl acetate extract has an insulin-sensitizing effect on adipocytes and has potential as an adjuvant for the management of type 2 diabetes.
In Malaysia and China, the sclerotium of Lignosus rhinocerotis is used by local communities and traditional medicine practitioners as a general tonic and remedy to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation-associated disorders. In this study, 10 samples from different preparations of L. rhinocerotis sclerotium, including a hot aqueous extract (HAE), an ethanol extract (EE), fractions from the HAE and EE, and crude polysaccharides, were tested for their in vitro cytotoxic and nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activities in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)--stimulated BV2 microglia. Of the 10 samples tested, HAE was the least cytotoxic toward BV2 microglia, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 176.23 ± 2.64 mg/mL at 24 hours of incubation and 20.01 ± 1.69 mg/ mL at 48 hours of incubation. The inhibition of NO production was explored by pretreatment of BV2 microglia with samples at 2 incubation time points (4 and 24 hours) before the stimulation by LPS for 24 hours. After 24 hours of pretreatment, 8 of the 10 samples inhibited NO production by 50% or more, and cytotoxic effects were not observed. Among the 8 active samples, 500 µg/mL of HAE, 250 µg/mL of an n-butanol fraction of the HAE, and 250 µg/mL of an ethyl acetate fraction of HAE showed maximum inhibition of NO production by 88.95%, 86.50%, and 85.93%, respectively. These results suggest that the L. rhinocerotis sclerotium may contain secondary metabolites that have the potential to inhibit NO production.
The growth and lectin production of Ganoderma applanatum, a white rot fungus, was optimized in broth cultures. The fungus was found to have a higher growth rate and higher lectin activity when grown in a medium adjusted to pH 6.5 at 26°C under stationary conditions. Expression of lectin activity started in 5-day-old mycelial culture; maximum activity was expressed after the 15th day of incubation. Among the various carbon and nitrogen sources tested, the carbon source sucrose and the nitrogen source yeast extract support maximum growth and lectin production. Lectin from G. applanatum was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion exchange chromatography. The purified fraction revealed a single band with a molecular weight of 35.0 kDa. Moreover, carbohydrates such as mannitol, glucose, sucrose, maltose, mannose, galactose, sorbose, and fructose were found to inhibit the hemagglutinating activity of the lectin. The purified lectins from G. applanatum contain cytotoxic and proapoptotic activities against HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells.
Diabetes mellitus is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although scientific evidence supporting its therapeutic efficacy is lacking, the use of the tiger's milk mushroom (TGM; Lignosus rhinocerotis), which is native to tropical areas such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, has been found to contain a very large amount of potential antioxidants. In this study, rats were weighed and then intravenously injected with 35 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ). Rats were left for 1 week before blood glucose concentrations were measured to determine the onset of diabetes before the next procedure was conducted. Rats with blood glucose exceeding 7.0 mmol/L were considered diabetic and were included in the experiment. All groups were fed their respective treatments twice daily for 2 months throughout the experiment. Antidiabetic and antioxidant properties of freeze-dried TGM powder, such as reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), lipid peroxidation (LPO), and catalase (CAT) activities, were investigated in liver samples. The biological compounds present in the freeze-dried TGM powder was found to exhibit antidiabetic properties by significantly reducing elevated blood glucose concentrations to a normal range (3.0-7.0 mmol/L) in Sprague-Dawley rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes, and increasing the body weight of the rats. Freeze-dried TGM powder was also found to possess antioxidant activity by significantly increasing GSH, CAT, and SOD activities while reducing LPO (P < 0.05). THis study shows that freeze-dried TGM powder exhibits significant antidiabetic properties and may be a potential supplement in ameliorating diabetic complications.
Amauroderma rugosum fruiting bodies possess excellent cardiovascular benefits, including antioxidative, antihyperlipidemic, antihypertensive, antiinflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation, and antithrombotic effects. In this article, we describe our investigations of the in vitro antioxidant activity and in vitro antiatherosclerotic potential through inhibitory effects on low-density lipoprotein (LDL), LDL peroxidation, and 3-hydroxy3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase catalytic activity using various fruiting body extracts partitioned with an organic solvent. Among 5 extracts/fractions tested, the semipolar ethyl acetate (EA) fraction demonstrated good antioxidant capacity based on total phenolic content, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging, ferrous ion-chelating ability, cupric ion-reducing antioxidant capacity, and lipid peroxidation assays. The EA fraction also showed the strongest inhibitory effect on Cu2+-induced LDL oxidation via thiobarbituric acid reactive substances formation and HMG-CoA reductase activity. Chemical analysis conjointly identified 10 phenolic compounds (4 benzoic acid derivatives, 3 flavonoids, 1 cinnamic acid, 1 hexahydroxydiphenic acid dilactone, and 1 xanthone derivative), some of which play pivotal roles in arresting the physiopathogenesis of atherosclerosis, thereby attenuating the risk of cardiovascular events occurring.
This study was conducted to evaluate the mycochemical composition and antiglycemic and antioxidant activities of Ganoderma neo-japonicum hot aqueous extracts, prepared at different boiling durations, and polysaccharides isolated from them. Ground basidiocarps of G. neo-japonicum were double-boiled at 100°C for 0.5, 3, or 4 hours, and the antiglycemic activity was assessed by α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzyme inhibition assays. The antioxidant capacity of the crude hot aqueous extracts (AE-1, AE-2, AE-3) was assessed by DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging and ferric-reducing antioxidant power assays. The total phenolics, protein, and sugar in the crude extracts were also determined. The hot aqueous extract (AE-3) containing a significant amount of total sugar and having enhanced antiglycemic and antioxidant activities was selected for polysaccharide isolation. The isolated crude polysaccharide was separated and purified using diethylaminoethyl-cellulose-52 and Sepharose 6B column chromatography. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies of the purified polysaccharide fraction (PF) showed the presence of typical bands corresponding to polysaccharides. The estimated β-glucan concentration in the PF was 39.26%. In general, the PF exhibited significantly lower antioxidant activity than AE-3. Nevertheless, its potency in inhibiting carbohydratehydrolyzing enzymes may have potential in the management of diabetes mellitus.
Species of the genus Ganoderma are a cosmopolitan wood decaying white rot fungi, which has been used by the Asians for therapeutic purposes for centuries. In the present study, solid-substrate fermentation (SSF) of wheat grains (Triticum aestivum L.) was carried out with indigenous Ganoderma australe (KUM60813) and G. neo-japonicum (KUM61076) selected based on ethnomycological knowledge. G. lucidum (VITA GL) (a commercial strain) was also included in the study. Antioxidant activities of the crude ethanol and aqueous extracts of the fermented and unfermented wheat grains were investigated by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging ability, and lipid peroxidation assay. Among the six mycelia extracts tested, the ethanol extract from wheat fermented with KUM61076 mycelia showed the most potent antioxidant activities, whereas the ethanol extract of wheat grains fermented with KUM60813 mycelia has a good potential in protecting frying oils against oxidation. Total phenolic content (TPC) in the ethanol extracts were higher than that in the aqueous extract. The wheat grains fermented with G. australe (KUM60813) and G. neo-japonicum KUM61076 have greater antioxidant potential compared to the commercially available G. lucidum (VITA GL). The antioxidant activities of the mycelia extracts had a positive correlation with their phenolic contents. Thus phenolic compounds may play a vital role in the antioxidant activities of the selected Ganoderma spp.
Neurotrophic factors are important in promoting the growth and differentiation of neurons. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential for the maintenance of the basal forebrain cholinergic system. Hericenones and erinacines isolated from the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus can induce NGF synthesis in nerve cells. In this study, we evaluated the synergistic interaction between H. erinaceus aqueous extract and exogenous NGF on the neurite outgrowth stimulation of neuroblastoma-glioma cell NG108-15. The neuroprotective effect of the mushroom extract toward oxidative stress was also studied. Aqueous extract of H. erinaceus was shown to be non-cytotoxic to human lung fibroblast MRC-5 and NG108-15 cells. The combination of 10 ng/mL NGF with 1 μg/mL mushroom extract yielded the highest percentage increase of 60.6% neurite outgrowth. The extract contained neuroactive compounds that induced the secretion of extracellular NGF in NG108-15 cells, thereby promoting neurite outgrowth activity. However, the H. erinaceus extract failed to protect NG108-15 cells subjected to oxidative stress when applied in pre-treatment and co-treatment modes. In conclusion, the aqueous extract of H. erinaceus contained neuroactive compounds which induced NGF-synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth in NG108-15 cells. The extract also enhanced the neurite outgrowth stimulation activity of NGF when applied in combination. The aqueous preparation of H. erinaceus had neurotrophic but not neuroprotective activities.