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Brain Res. 2008 Jan 23;1190:215-24. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Antagonizing beta-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity of the anti-aging fungus Ganoderma lucidum.

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Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Disease, Department of Anatomy, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. ex Fr.) Karst. (Lingzhi) is a medicinal fungus used clinically in many Asian countries to promote health and longevity. Synaptic degeneration is another key mode of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies have shown the loss of synaptic density proteins in each individual neuron during the progression of AD. It was recently reported that beta-amyloid (Abeta) could cause synaptic dysfunction and contribute to AD pathology. In this study, we reported that aqueous extract of G. lucidum significantly attenuated Abeta-induced synaptotoxicity by preserving the synaptic density protein, synaptophysin. In addition, G. lucidum aqueous extract antagonized Abeta-triggered DEVD cleavage activities in a dose-dependent manner. Further studies elucidated that phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, c-Jun, and p38 MAP kinase was attenuated by G. lucidum in Abeta-stressed neurons. Taken together, the results prove a hypothesis that anti-aging G. lucidum can prevent harmful effects of the exterminating toxin Abeta in AD.

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