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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3864340, 13 pages
Research Article

Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice

1Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2Department of Biology and Biotechnology (DBB) “L. Spallanzani”, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3MycoMedica d.o.o., Podkoren 72, 4280 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
4O. B. L. Department of Surgical Sciences, V. Ospedale 54, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
5Department of Earth and Environmental Science (DSTA), University of Pavia, Via S. Epifanio 14, 27100 Pavia, Italy
6Miconet s.r.l, Academic Spin-Off of the University of Pavia, Via Moruzzi 13, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Paola Rossi

Received 6 October 2016; Revised 1 December 2016; Accepted 7 December 2016; Published 1 January 2017

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Venturella

Copyright © 2017 Federico Brandalise et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Pers. is a medicinal mushroom capable of inducing a large number of modulatory effects on human physiology ranging from the strengthening of the immune system to the improvement of cognitive functions. In mice, dietary supplementation with H. erinaceus prevents the impairment of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory in an Alzheimer model. Intriguingly other neurobiological effects have recently been reported like the effect on neurite outgrowth and differentiation in PC12 cells. Until now no investigations have been conducted to assess the impact of this dietary supplementation on brain function in healthy subjects. Therefore, we have faced the problem by considering the effect on cognitive skills and on hippocampal neurotransmission in wild-type mice. In wild-type mice the oral supplementation with H. erinaceus induces, in behaviour test, a significant improvement in the recognition memory and, in hippocampal slices, an increase in spontaneous and evoked excitatory synaptic current in mossy fiber-CA3 synapse. In conclusion, we have produced a series of findings in support of the concept that H. erinaceus induces a boost effect onto neuronal functions also in nonpathological conditions.