Research Papers:

Coriolus versicolor biomass increases dendritic arborization of newly-generated neurons in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus

Elisabete Ferreiro, Inês R. Pita, Sandra I. Mota, Jorge Valero, Nuno R. Ferreira, Tito Fernandes, Vittorio Calabrese, Carlos A. Fontes-Ribeiro, Frederico C. Pereira _ and Ana Cristina Rego

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:32929-32942. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25978

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Elisabete Ferreiro1,2,4,*, Inês R. Pita3,4,*, Sandra I. Mota1,2,4, Jorge Valero5,6, Nuno R. Ferreira7, Tito Fernandes8,9, Vittorio Calabrese10, Carlos A. Fontes-Ribeiro3,4, Frederico C. Pereira3,4 and Ana Cristina Rego1,4,11

1CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

2III-Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (IIIUC), University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

3Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

4CNC.IBILI–University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

5Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Science Park of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

6Ikerbasque Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

7Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

8Ministry of Education, Maputo, Mozambique

9Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal

10Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

11Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Frederico C. Pereira, email: [email protected]

Ana Cristina Rego, email: [email protected]

Keywords: coriolus versicolor; cognitive reserve; hippocampus; neurogenesis; immature neuron complexity

Received: December 21, 2017     Accepted: July 31, 2018     Published: August 31, 2018


Brain cognitive reserve refers to the ability of the brain to manage different challenges that arise throughout life, making it resilient to neuropathology. Hippocampal adult neurogenesis has been considered to be a relevant contributor for brain cognitive reserve and brain plasticity. Coriolus versicolor (CV), a common healthful mushroom, has been receiving increasing attention by its antitumoral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and immunomodulatory properties, including in the hippocampus. Herein, we evaluated whether CV biomass oral administration for 2.5 months enhances hippocampal neurogenic reserve under normal/physiological conditions, by quantifying hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) granular cell layer (GCL) and subgranular zone (SGZ) volumes, proliferation, number and dendritic complexity features of hippocampal newly-generated neurons. We also analyzed β-catenin levels in DG newly-generated immature neurons, because it plays a major role in neurogenesis. Although no differences were observed in the volume of GCL and SGZ layers, in proliferation and in the number of newly-generated neurons of controls and CV-administered mice, we found that CV administration promotes a significant increase in dendritic length and branching and total dendritic volume of immature neurons, suggesting a positive effect of oral CV administration in the hippocampal neurogenic reserve. We also observed that β-catenin levels are increased both in the nucleus and cytoplasm of DG immature neurons, suggesting that Wnt/β-catenin signalling may play an important role in the CV positive effect on the differentiation of these cells. These data unveil a so far unexplored neurogenic potential of CV supplementation, which emerges as a possible preventive strategy for different neurological conditions.

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