A Polysaccharide Extract from Maitake Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola frondosa (Agaricomycetes) Ameliorates Learning and Memory Function in Aluminum Chloride-Induced Amnesia in Mice

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2019;21(11):1065-1074. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2019032914.


Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is an edible mushroom exhibiting high nutritional value in terms of containing health-beneficial bioactive compounds. Previously, we reported that a protein-bound polysaccharide bioactive component of G. frondosa (PGM) could enhance the expression of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR), which is critical for learning and memory. However, the potential benefits of PGM on learning and memory function have never been investigated. In the current study, we aimed to explore the beneficial effect of PGM on learning and memory function in aluminum chloride (AlCl3)-induced amnesia in mice and to explore the underlying mechanisms. Mice were intraperitoneally administered with AlCl3 (60 mg/kg/d) and PGM (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg/d) for 6 weeks consecutively, and then the Morris water maze (MWM) test was conducted to assess the learning and memory function. Hematoxylin-eosin staining was performed to observe the morphology of neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). The expression of p-Tau (Ser396), Tau, p-GluA1 (S845), GluA1, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins was evaluated with western blot. We found that PGM (5 and 10 mg/kg/d) significantly improved learning and memory function and attenuated histopathological abnormalities in the hippocampal DG region in the AlCl3-treated mice. Furthermore, PGM treatment significantly enhanced the level of AMPAR and BDNF in the hippocampus, while suppressing the tau protein hyperphosphorylation at the Ser396 site. These findings indicated that PGM could significantly attenuate the AlCl3-induced amnesia through the synergistic action of its active component on tau pathology, AMPAR and BDNF signaling pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Aluminum Chloride / toxicity
  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Amnesia / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Dentate Gyrus / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Grifola / chemistry*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Maze Learning
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • Aluminum Chloride