Neurogenesis-dependent antidepressant-like activity of Hericium erinaceus in an animal model of depression

Chong, Pit Shan and Poon, Chi Him and Roy, Jaydeep and Tsui, Ka Chun and Lew, Sze Yuen and Phang, Michael Weng Lok and Tan, Rachael Julia Yuenyinn and Cheng, Poh Guat and Fung, Man-Lung and Wong, Kah Hui and Lim, Lee Wei (2021) Neurogenesis-dependent antidepressant-like activity of Hericium erinaceus in an animal model of depression. Chinese Medicine, 16 (1). ISSN 1749-8546, DOI

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Depression is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder that affects more than 264 million people worldwide. The efficacy of conventional antidepressants are barely adequate and many have side effects. Hericium erinaceus (HE) is a medicinal mushroom that has been reported to have therapeutic potential for treating depression. Methods Animals subjected to chronic restraint stress were given 4 weeks HE treatment. Animals were then screened for anxiety and depressive-like behaviours. Gene and protein assays, as well as histological analysis were performed to probe the role of neurogenesis in mediating the therapeutic effect of HE. Temozolomide was administered to validate the neurogenesis-dependent mechanism of HE. Results The results showed that 4 weeks of HE treatment ameliorated depressive-like behaviours in mice subjected to 14 days of restraint stress. Further molecular assays demonstrated the 4-week HE treatment elevated the expression of several neurogenesis-related genes and proteins, including doublecortin, nestin, synaptophysin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB). Increased bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells were also observed in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, indicating enhanced neurogenesis. Neurogenesis blocker temozolomide completely abolished the antidepressant-like effects of HE, confirming a neurogenesis-dependent mechanism. Moreover, HE induced anti-neuroinflammatory effects through reducing astrocyte activation in the hippocampus, which was also abolished with temozolomide administration. Conclusion HE exerts antidepressant effects by promoting neurogenesis and reducing neuroinflammation through enhancing the BDNF-TrkB-CREB signalling pathway.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Hong Kong Research Grants Council[207301003], Seed Fund for Translational and Applied Research[104005226]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hericium erinaceus;Depression;Neurogenesis;Anti-neuroinflammatory;Hippocampus
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 00:39
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 00:39

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