2010 Volume 56 Issue 3 Pages 296-303
The neuroprotective effects of Hericium erinaceum (H. erinaceum) were studied in mice subjected to middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. Infarct volumes were markedly reduced in mice receiving 14 days of H. erinaceum (300 mg/kg) treatment prior to 4-hr MCA occlusion. Moreover, 14-day pre-ischemic H. erinaceum treatment significantly increased the levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) in both the cortex and striatum of mice subjected to 4-hr MCA occlusion. However, pre-ischemic H. erinaceum treatment had no effect on cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the cortex of mice subjected to MCA occlusion. Treatment with H. erinaceum for 1 day prior to MCA occlusion-induced ischemia had no effect on infarct volume or NGF level. These results suggest that 14 days of treatment with H. erinaceum prior to MCA occlusion protected against focal cerebral ischemia, by increasing NGF levels. This implies that H. erinaceum and its components could be useful for preventing cerebral infarction.