Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Dec 5;21(1):295. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03463-3.


Background: Sleep disruption is a major public health issue and may increase the risk of mortality by ten-folds if an individual is sleeping less than 6 h per night. Sleep has changed dramatically during to the COVID-19 pandemic because COVID symptoms can lead to psychological distress including anxiety. Hericium erinaceus mycelium has been widely investigated in both the in vivo studies and clinical trials for its neuroprotective functions because the mycelium contains hericenones and erinacines, which synthesize the nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Recent in vivo reports have shown showed that erinacine A-enriched Hericium erinaceus mycelium can modulate BDNF/TrkB/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β pathways to induce an antidepressant-like effect. A large body of evidence indicates that erinacine can pass the blood-brain barrier and suggests its neuroprotective function in both peripheral and central nervous systems. Thus, Hericium erinaceus mycelium may be a dual-function supplement for sleep disruption improvement while sustaining anxiolytic effects.

Method: To simulate the condition of sleep disruption, the mice were subjected to the tail suspension test (TST) for 15 min every day during the same period for nine consecutive days. Two different doses (75 and 150 mg/kg) of Hericium erinaceus mycelium were administered orally 20 min prior to the TSTs before entering the light period of 12:12 h L:D cycle. All sleep-wake recording was recorded for 24 h using electroencephalogram and electromyogram. The elevated-plus-maze and open-field tests were conducted to record the behavior activities.

Results: Consecutive TSTs prior to the light period could cause significant sleep disturbance and anxiety behavior in the elevated-plus-maze experiments. Results showed that administration with Hericium erinaceus mycelium at 150 mg/kg ameliorated the rodent anxiety (p < 0.05) and reversed the TST-induced NREM sleep disturbance in the dark period.

Conclusion: This is the first in vivo study suggesting that Hericium erinaceus mycelium has a dual potential role for anxiety relief through improving sleep disruptions.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Hericium erinaceus mycelium; NREM; Sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / metabolism*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • COVID-19
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hericium*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mycelium*
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / metabolism


  • Biological Products

Supplementary concepts

  • Hericium erinaceus