Anti-Inflammatory Benefits from Reishi Mushroom Compound

Greg Howard
31st March, 2024

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits from Reishi Mushroom Compound

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study from Guangdong Pharmaceutical University found a mushroom extract improves memory and reduces anxiety in rats with Alzheimer's symptoms
  • The extract, GLP70-1-2, decreases inflammation in the brain by affecting a specific cellular pathway
  • These findings suggest GLP70-1-2 could be a new treatment option for Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a debilitating condition that affects millions worldwide, characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities and memory. As the disease progresses, it can lead to a complete loss of independence. Current medications for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders have limited effectiveness and cannot halt the progression of these diseases[2]. However, recent research from Guangdong Pharmaceutical University[1] presents a promising discovery that could change the way we approach treatment for AD. The study focuses on the effects of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLPs), which are complex sugars derived from a type of mushroom known for its medicinal properties. Traditional Chinese medicine has long touted G. lucidum for its nerve-nourishing and mind-calming effects. Building on this ancient wisdom, the researchers sought to understand the scientific basis behind these claims and explore the potential of GLPs in combating neuroinflammation, a key factor in AD. Neuroinflammation is the inflammation of nervous tissue, which is a common thread in various neurodegenerative diseases. It is characterized by the activation of microglia, the brain's primary immune cells. When overstimulated, microglia can release pro-inflammatory factors that contribute to neuronal damage[2]. Thus, controlling microglial activation and the resulting neuroinflammation is a critical target for AD therapy. The study at hand investigated a specific crude polysaccharide, GL70, and its impact on rats with AD symptoms induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS), a compound known to provoke an immune response. Remarkably, GL70 improved spatial learning, memory function, and reduced anxiety in these rats. A particular component of GL70, named GLP70-1-2, was isolated and characterized. This component showed a significant reduction in pro-inflammatory factors in LPS-activated microglial cells, indicating its potential as an anti-neuroinflammatory agent. The researchers delved into the structure of GLP70-1-2, revealing a complex arrangement of sugar molecules. Understanding this structure is crucial, as it relates to the substance's biological activity. The study found that GLP70-1-2 operates through the TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB pathway, a signaling route in cells that, when activated, can lead to inflammation. By influencing this pathway, GLP70-1-2 could potentially reduce the harmful inflammation seen in AD. This discovery aligns with earlier studies that have shown GLPs to possess various biological functions, such as modulating the immune system[3] and affecting gene expression, which is the process by which information from a gene is used to create a functional product like a protein[4]. Moreover, GLPs have been noted for their role in suppressing tumor growth and impacting the behavior of cancer stem cells, indicating a broad spectrum of potential medical applications[5]. The implications of the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University study are significant. Not only does it support the idea that GLPs can modulate microglial behavior and reduce neuroinflammation, but it also provides a potential new avenue for drug development against AD. The identification of GLP70-1-2 as a candidate for further drug development is particularly exciting, as drug repurposing strategies could lead to more efficient and cost-effective treatments[2]. In conclusion, the study presents a compelling case for the anti-neuroinflammatory properties of GLP70-1-2, offering a ray of hope for those affected by AD. By leveraging the anti-inflammatory effects of natural compounds found in G. lucidum, researchers are paving the way for new therapeutic strategies that could one day transform the treatment landscape for neurodegenerative diseases.



Main Study

1) Structural characterization of a galactoglucomannan with anti-neuroinflammatory activity from Ganoderma lucidum.

Published 15th June, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) Repositioning and development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases: Focus on neuroinflammation.

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

4) Advances in the role of natural products in human gene expression.

5) Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides inhibit in vitro tumorigenesis, cancer stem cell properties and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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