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Oncotarget. 2018 Aug 31;9(68):32929-32942. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.25978. eCollection 2018 Aug 31.

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

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CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
III-Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (IIIUC), University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
CNC.IBILI-University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Science Park of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain.
Ikerbasque Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain.
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Ministry of Education, Maputo, Mozambique.
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal.
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Contributed equally


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.


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

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.

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