Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum attenuate microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and modulate microglial phagocytosis and behavioural response

J Neuroinflammation. 2017 Mar 24;14(1):63. doi: 10.1186/s12974-017-0839-0.


Background: Ganoderma lucidum (GL) has been widely used in Asian countries for hundreds of years to promote health and longevity. The pharmacological functions of which had been classified, including the activation of innate immune responses, suppression of tumour and modulation of cell proliferations. Effective fractions of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLP) had already been reported to regulate the immune system. Nevertheless, the role of GLP in the microglia-mediated neuroinflammation has not been sufficiently elucidated. Further, GLP effect on microglial behavioural modulations in correlation with the inflammatory responses remains to be unravelled. The aim of this work was to quantitatively analyse the contributions of GLP on microglia.

Methods: The BV2 microglia and primary mouse microglia were stimulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and amyloid beta42 (Aβ42) oligomer, respectively. Investigation on the effect of GLP was carried by quantitative determination of the microglial pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine expressions and behavioural modulations including migration, morphology and phagocytosis. Analysis of microglial morphology and phagocytosis modulations was confirmed in the zebrafish brain.

Results: Quantitative results revealed that GLP down-regulates LPS- or Aβ-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and promotes anti-inflammatory cytokine expressions in BV-2 and primary microglia. In addition, GLP attenuates inflammation-related microglial migration, morphological alterations and phagocytosis probabilities. We also showed that modulations of microglial behavioural responses were associated with MCP-1 and C1q expressions.

Conclusions: Overall, our study provides an insight into the GLP regulation of LPS- and Aβ-induced neuroinflammation and serves an implication that the neuroprotective function of GLP might be achieved through modulation of microglial inflammatory and behavioural responses.

Keywords: Amyloid beta; Behavioural response; Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides; Microglia; Neuroinflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Inflammation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Reishi
  • Zebrafish


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Polysaccharides