Ganoderma lucidum Ethanol Extracts Enhance Re-Epithelialization and Prevent Keratinocytes from Free-Radical Injury

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020 Aug 29;13(9):224. doi: 10.3390/ph13090224.


Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi is recognized as the most potent adaptogen present in nature, and its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anticancer activities are well known. Moreover, lately, there has been an increasing interest from pharmaceutical companies in antiaging G. lucidum-extract-based formulations. Nevertheless, the pharmacological mechanisms of such adaptogenic and regenerative actions remain unclear. The present investigation aimed to explore its molecular and cellular effects in vitro in epidermal keratinocyte cultures by applying liquid chromatography coupled to ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LCMS-IT-TOF) for analysis of ethanol extracts using ganoderic acid-A as a reference compound. The G. lucidum extract showed a keratinocyte proliferation induction accompanied by an increase of cyclic kinase protein expressions, such as CDK2 and CDK6. Furthermore, a noteworthy migration rate increase and activation of tissue remodelling factors, such as matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9), were observed. Finally, the extract showed an antioxidant effect, protecting from H2O2-induced cytotoxicity; preventing activation of AKT (protein kinase B), ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), p53 and p21; and reducing the number of apoptotic cells. Our study paves the path for elucidating pharmacological properties of G. lucidum and its potential development as cosmeceutical skin products, providing the first evidence of its capability to accelerate the healing processes enhancing re-epithelialization and to protect cells from free-radical action.

Keywords: Ganoderma lucidum; cosmeceuticals; oxidative stress; triterpenic acids; wound healing.