Free-radical scavenging and mitochondrial antioxidant activities of Reishi-Ganoderma lucidum (Curt: Fr) P. Karst and Arogyapacha-Trichopus zeylanicus Gaertn extracts

J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2009;20(4):289-307. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp.2009.20.4.289.


Endogenous damage to mitochondrial DNA by free radicals is believed to be a major contributory factor to aging. The current study examined the effects of the extracts of two important anti-fatigue and rejuvenating medicinal herbs Ganoderma lucidum and Trichopus zeylanicus for their free-radical scavenging property and for their effects on liver mitochondrial antioxidant activity in aged mice. Both extracts were administrated orally to aged BALB/c mice at doses of 50 and 250 mg/kg body weight for 15 days. Super oxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity and levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and lipid peroxidation as equivalents of malondialdehyde (MDA) formed were determined. Groups of young mice and aged mice (more than 15 months old) were taken as controls. Both G. lucidum and T. zeylanicus extracts increased antioxidant status in liver mitochondria of aged mice compared with the aged control. Higher levels of GSH, increased activity of SOD and CAT, and decreased level of MDA in both treated groups compared with the controls were evident. Both extracts possessed significant 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazil (DPPH), 2, 2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazolin-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activities and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP activities were higher in G. lucidum extract than in T. zeylanicus. G. lucidum extract also showed superoxide and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. T. zeylanicus had significantly higher lipid peroxidation inhibiting activity than G. lucidum. Thus, we conclude that the antioxidative effect of the G. lucidum extract was higher than that of T. zeylanicus. Our findings suggest a potential therapeutic efficacy of G. lucidum extract to protect against aging and to a certain extent against age-related degenerative diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Dioscoreaceae*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Ganoderma*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase