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. 2011;2011:580752.
doi: 10.1093/ecam/neq062. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium Erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae)

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Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium Erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae)

Kah-Hui Wong et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. .
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Abstract

Nerve crush injury is a well-established axonotmetic model in experimental regeneration studies to investigate the impact of various pharmacological treatments. Hericium erinaceus is a temperate mushroom but is now being cultivated in tropical Malaysia. In this study, we investigated the activity of aqueous extract of H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies in promoting functional recovery following an axonotmetic peroneal nerve injury in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats by daily oral administration. The aim was to investigate the possible use of this mushroom in the treatment of injured nerve. Functional recovery was assessed in behavioral experiment by walking track analysis. Peroneal functional index (PFI) was determined before surgery and after surgery as rats showed signs of recovery. Histological examinations were performed on peroneal nerve by immunofluorescence staining and neuromuscular junction by combined silver-cholinesterase stain. Analysis of PFI indicated that return of hind limb function occurred earlier in rats of aqueous extract or mecobalamin (positive control) group compared to negative control group. Regeneration of axons and reinnervation of motor endplates in extensor digitorum longus muscle in rats of aqueous extract or mecobalamin group developed better than in negative control group. These data suggest that daily oral administration of aqueous extract of H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies could promote the regeneration of injured rat peroneal nerve in the early stage of recovery.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Complete crush of peroneal nerve is confirmed by presence of a translucent band (as indicated by an arrow) across the nerve.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Walking track apparatus. Rat in an 8.2 × 42 cm walking track apparatus lined with white office paper. After the hind limbs of the rat are dipped in Chinese ink, the rat walks towards the darkened end of the corridor.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Walking tracks of foot prints after 4 days of right peroneal nerve crush injury. Arrows indicate foot prints of the operated limb. (a) Foot prints in negative control group—distilled water (10 mL kg−1 body weight per day). The palsy after interruption of the peroneal nerve is characterized by flexion contracture of the paws (drop foot), absence of toe-spreading reflex and some dragging of the operated limb. (b) Foot prints in low dose of aqueous extract group—H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies (10 mL kg−1 body weight per day). (c) Foot prints in high dose of aqueous extract group—H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies (20 mL kg−1 body weight per day). Toe-spreading and clear foot prints of the operated limb are demonstrated on the walking tracks. (d) Foot prints in positive control group—mecobalamin (130 μg kg−1 body weight per day). Clear footprints of the operated limb can be seen.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Representative photomicrographs of longitudinally sectioned peroneal nerves distal to the injury site after 14 days of peroneal nerve crush injury and the pathologic scale used for depicting these extents of injury or axon loss. The green fluorescent strands represent individual axon fibers stained with anti-neurofilament 200. 10x magnification. (a) 0 = normal nerve of unoperated limb. (b) 1 = mild axonal damage of operated limb. (c) 2 = moderate axonal damage of operated limb. (d) 3 = severe axonal damage of operated limb.
Figure 5
Figure 5
The morphology of silver-cholinesterase stained longitudinal section of extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of rat after 14 days of peroneal nerve crush injury. Arrows indicate the axons. Asterisks indicate the motor endplates. 20x magnification. (a) Normal unoperated limb. Axons bundles are clear and compact. (b) Operated limb in negative control group—distilled water (10 mL kg−1 body weight per day). Wallerian degeneration can be detected. (c) Operated limb in low dose of aqueous extract group—H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies (10 mL kg−1 body weight per day). Loose axon bundles indicate regeneration process is on-going. Polyneuronal innervation can be seen. (d) Operated limb in high dose of aqueous extract group—H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies (20 mL kg−1 body weight per day). The presence of motor endplates contacted by either one or more than one axon terminal can be observed. (e) Operated limb in positive control group—mecobalamin (130 μg kg−1 body weight per day). Axon bundles are more compact, regeneration process is more advanced compared to aqueous extract group.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Hypothetical diagram showing the possible effects of aqueous extract of H. erinaceus fresh fruiting bodies in promoting peripheral nerve regeneration following crush injury.

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