Hericenones Hericium erinaceus lion's mane
November 22 2015

Among these bioactive compounds, hericenones and erinacines, isolated from an edible mushroom called Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus).
Human studies are difficult to find.

Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells.
Biol Pharmacology Bull. 2008. Department of Cellular Signaling, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan.
Neurotrophic factors are essential to maintain and organize neurons functionally; thereby neurotrophic factor-like substances or their inducers are expected to be applied to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, we firstly examined the effects of ethanol extracts of four edible mushrooms, Hericium erinaceus (Yamabushitake), Pleurotus eryngii (Eringi), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), and Agaricus blazei (Himematsutake), on nerve growth factor (NGF) gene expression in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. Among the four mushroom extracts, only H. erinaceus extract promoted NGF mRNA expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Hericium erinaceus contains active compounds that stimulate NGF synthesis via activation of the JNK pathway; these compounds are not hericenones.

Biomed Res. 2011. Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. The mushroom Hericium erinaceus has been used as a food and herbal medicine since ancient times in East Asia. It has been reported that H. erinaceus promotes nerve growth factor secretion in vitro and in vivo. Nerve growth factor is involved in maintaining and organizing cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system. These findings suggest that H. erinaceus may be appropriate for the prevention or treatment of dementia. In the present study, we examined the effects of H. erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Mice were administered 10 g of amyloid β(25-35) peptide intracerebroventricularly on days 7 and 14, and fed a diet containing H. erinaceus over a 23-d experimental period. Memory and learning function was examined using behavioral pharmacological methods including the Y-maze test and the novel-object recognition test. The results revealed that H. erinaceus prevented impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory induced by amyloid β(25-35) peptide. This finding indicates that H. erinaceus may be useful in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction.