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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2014, Article ID 563179, 13 pages
Research Article

Effects of Treating Old Rats with an Aqueous Agaricus blazei Extract on Oxidative and Functional Parameters of the Brain Tissue and Brain Mitochondria

Department of Biochemistry, University of Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, 87020900 Maringá, PR, Brazil

Received 17 February 2014; Revised 7 April 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 28 April 2014

Academic Editor: Narasimham L. Parinandi

Copyright © 2014 Anacharis B. de Sá-Nakanishi 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.


Dysfunction of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and increased oxidative stress is a striking phenomenon in the brain of aged individuals. For this reason there has been a constant search for drugs and natural products able to prevent or at least to mitigate these problems. In the present study the effects of an aqueous extract of Agaricus blazei, a medicinal mushroom, on the oxidative state and on the functionality of mitochondria from the brain of old rats (21 months) were conducted. The extract was administered intragastrically during 21 days at doses of 200 mg/kg. The administration of the A. blazei extract was protective to the brain of old rats against oxidative stress by decreasing the lipid peroxidation levels and the reactive oxygen species content and by increasing the nonenzymic and enzymic antioxidant capacities. Administration of the A. blazei extract also increased the activity of several mitochondrial respiratory enzymes and, depending on the substrate, the mitochondrial coupled respiration.