[Speaker] Frederico Pereira:1,2
[Co-author] Elisabete Ferreiro:2,3,4, Pita Inês:1,2, Nuno R Ferreira:5, Carlos A. Fontes-Ribeiro:1,2, Tito Fernandes:7,8, Vittorio Calabrese:9, Cristina Rego:2,3,6
1:Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, 2:CNC. IBILI-University of Coimbra, Coimbral, Portugal, 3:CNC - Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 4:III-Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (IIIUC), University of Coimbra, Portugal, 5:Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 6:Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 7:Ministry of Education, Maputo, Mozambique, Mozambique, 8:Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal, 9:Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Background: Hippocampal adult neurogenesis has been considered to be a relevant contributor for brain cognitive reserve, which refers to the ability of the brain to be resilient to neuropathology throughout life. Coriolus versicolor (CV-Mycology Research Laboratories Ltd, Luton, UK), a common healthful mushroom, has been receiving increasing attention by its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties, including in the hippocampus. Methods: Herein, we evaluated whether CV biomass oral administration for 2.5 months enhances hippocampal neurogenic reserve in normal physiological conditions. Two and a half-month-old wild-type mice (C57BL/6 × 129 background, male) were randomly divided in two experimental groups (n=10 per group): i) Saline-administered and ii) CV-administered (200 mg/kg bw, suspended in saline). Hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) granular cell layer (GCL) and subgranular zone (SGZ) volumes and number, and dendritic complexity of hippocampal newly-generated neurons were quantified. Statistical significance was determined using One-way ANOVA with repeated measures followed by Bonferroni post hoc test (Scholl Analysis), unpaired student´s t test or non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. p-values<0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: No differences were observed in the volume of GCL and SGZ layers and in the number of newly-generated neurons of controls and CV-administered mice. However, Scholl analysis revealed that CV biomass administration promoted an increase in the arborization of the dendritic tree of hippocampal immature neurons, which was more evident in newly-generated neurons with dendrites reaching the DG outer and medial molecular layer (O/MML). This increase in complexity was visible in the radiuses 80 to 110 micrometers, corresponding to dendritic branches located at the DG inner molecular layer (p<0.05). This increased dendritic complexity was associated with a significant increment in total dendrites volume (p<0.001).
Conclusions: Overall, our data suggest that CV biomass has a positive effect in the hippocampal neurogenic reserve. We unveil a so far unexplored neurogenic potential of CV oral supplementation, which emerges as a possible preventive strategy for different neurological conditions.

Financial support: Mycology Research Laboratories, Ltd; CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000012 HealthyAging2020 and CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000008 - BrainHealth 2020; FCT: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007440 and Strategic Project 2015- UID/NEU/04539/2013. E.F. is a holder of a FCT postdoctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/86551/2012).
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