Systemic Screening of Strains of the Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) and Its Protective Effects on Aβ-Triggered Neurotoxicity in PC12 Cells

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(3):219-29. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i3.20.


Hericium erinaceus possesses multiple medicinal values. To date, however, there have been few studies of the systemic screening of H. erinaceus strains, and the neuroprotective effects of H. erinaceus prepared from homogenized, fresh fruiting bodies are not fully understood. In this study, 4 random primers were selected and used in random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to screen and evaluate the genetic diversity of 19 commercial strains of H. erinaceus from different localities in China. A total of 66 bands were obtained, and the percentage of polymorphic loci reached 80.30%. Five dendrograms were constructed based on RAPD by Jaccard cluster and within-group linkage analysis. Primer S20 as well as all 4 primers had great potential as specific primers for RAPD-PCR molecular identification and differentiation of H. erinaceus strains. Based on the results of submerged culture and fruiting body cultivation, strains HT-N, HT-J1, HT-C, and HT-M were identified as superior among the 19 H. erinaceus strains. Further study showed that the oral preparation of homogenized, fresh fruiting bodies of H. erinaceus could attenuate the Aβ25-35-triggered damage in PC12 cells by significantly increasing cell viability and by decreasing the release of lactate dehydrogenase. In conclusion, RAPD-PCR combined with liquid and solid cultures can be used well in the screening and identification of H. erinaceus strains, and products prepared from homogenized, fresh fruiting bodies of H. erinaceus had neuroprotective effects on PC12 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Agaricales / classification
  • Agaricales / genetics
  • Agaricales / isolation & purification*
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • China
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / classification
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / genetics
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity*
  • Phylogeny
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Rats


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (25-35)