Hericium erinaceus Promotes Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Regulation of Metabolites in an Animal Model of Cerebellar Ataxia

Sze Chun Chau, Pit Shan Chong, Hongkai Jin, Ka Chun Tsui, Sharafuddin Khairuddin, Anna Chung Kwan Tse, Sze Yuen Lew, George Lim Tipoe, Chi Wai Lee, Man Lung Fung, Kah Hui Wong*, Lee Wei Lim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Cerebellar ataxia is a neurodegenerative disorder with no definitive treatment. Although previous study demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of Hericium erinaceus (H.E.), the mechanisms of H.E. treatment on the neuroinflammatory response, neurotransmission, and related metabolites remain largely unknown. We demonstrated that 3-AP rats treated with 25 mg/kg H.E. extracts had improved motor coordination and balance in the accelerated rotarod and rod tests. We showed that the H.E. treatment upregulated the expression of Tgfb1, Tgfb2, and Smad3 genes to levels comparable to those in the non-3-AP control group. Interestingly, we also observed a significant correlation between Tgfb2 gene expression and rod test performance in the 3-AP saline group, but not in the non-3-AP control or H.E.+3-AP groups, indicating a relationship between Tgfb2 gene expression and motor balance in the 3-AP rat model. Additionally, we also found that the H.E. treatment increased mitochondrial COX-IV protein expression and normalized dopamine-serotonin neurotransmission and metabolite levels in the cerebellum of the H.E.+3-AP group compared to the 3-AP saline group. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the H.E. treatment improved motor function in the 3-AP rat model, which was potentially mediated through neuroprotective mechanisms involving TGFB2-Smad3 signaling via normalization of neurotransmission and metabolic pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6089
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Early online date23 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • brain inflammation
  • cerebellar ataxia
  • Hericium erinaceus
  • incoordination
  • neuroprotective agents
  • neurotransmission


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