Studies on the purification of polysaccharides separated from Tremella fuciformis and their neuroprotective effect

Mol Med Rep. 2016 May;13(5):3985-92. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2016.5026. Epub 2016 Mar 21.


The present study aimed to investigate the protective effect of purified polysaccharides from Tremella fuciformis against glutamate-induced cytotoxicity in differentiated PC12 (DPC12) cells. The aqueous extract of Tremella fuciformis was purified using a DEAE-52 cellulose anion exchange column and a Sepharose G-100 column, respectively. A fraction termed TL04 with a 2,033 kDa molecular weight was obtained. The backbone of TL04 is composed of (1→2)‑ and (1→4)-linked-mannose and (1→3)-linked-glucans. Results revealed that TL04 treatment improved cell viability and suppressed reactive oxygen species accumulation, lactose dehydrogenase release and caspase-3 activity, and ameliorated mitochondrial abnormal alteration caused by glutamate. TL04 pretreatment enhanced the level of B‑cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl‑2), and suppressed Bax expression and cytochrome c (Cyto C) release in glutamate-treated cells. Exposure to glutamate strongly increased the activity of caspase‑8, caspase‑9 and caspase‑3, which were significantly reversed by TL04 pretreatment. The presence of Ac-DEVD-CHO (a caspase-3 inhibitor) markedly enhanced the potency of TL04 in improving the viability of glutamate-exposed DPC12 cells. Collectively, the results demonstrated that the purified polysaccharides separated from Tremella fuciformis (TL04) possess a neuroprotective effect against glutamate-induced DPC12 cell damage predominantly through the caspase-dependent mitochondrial pathway. The present study provides an experimental foundation supporting purified TL04 as a potential therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Fungal Polysaccharides* / chemistry
  • Fungal Polysaccharides* / isolation & purification
  • Fungal Polysaccharides* / pharmacology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / pharmacology
  • PC12 Cells
  • Rats


  • Fungal Polysaccharides
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuroprotective Agents