Hericium erinaceus (HE), a culinary-medicinal mushroom, has shown therapeutic potential in many brain diseases. However, the role of HE in status epilepticus (SE)-mediated neuronal death and its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated the neuroprotective effects of HE using a pilocarpine-induced SE model. Male C57BL/6 mice received crude extracts of HE (60 mg/kg, 120 mg/kg, or 300 mg/kg, p.o.) for 21 d from 14 d before SE to 6 d after SE. At 7 d after SE, cresyl violet and immunohistochemistry of neuronal nuclei revealed improved hippocampal neuronal survival in animals treated with 60 mg/kg and 120 mg/kg of HE, whereas those treated with 300 mg/kg of HE showed similar neuronal death to that of vehicle-treated controls. While seizure-induced reactive gliosis, assessed by immunohistochemistry, was not altered by HE, the number of hippocampal cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2)-expressing cells was significantly reduced by 60 and 120 mg/kg of HE. Triple immunohistochemistry demonstrated no overlap of COX2 labeling with Ox42, in addition to a decrease in COX2/GFAP-co-immunoreactivity in the group treated with 60 mg/kg HE, suggesting that the reduction of COX2 by HE promotes neuroprotection after SE. Our findings highlight the potential application of HE for preventing neuronal death after seizures.
Jang, H. J., et al. (2019). “The Neuroprotective Effect of Hericium erinaceus Extracts in Mouse Hippocampus after Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus.” Int J Mol Sci 20(4).