Recent Progress in Research on the Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms and Prospects for Their Clinical Application

  • Susanna M. BadalyanEmail author
  • Anush Barkhudaryan
  • Sylvie Rapior


Fungi are considered one of the most diverse, ecologically significant, and economically important organisms on Earth. The edible and medicinal mushrooms have long been known by humans and were used by ancient civilizations not only as valuable food but also as medicines. Mushrooms are producers of high- and low-molecular-weight bioactive compounds (alkaloids, lectins, lipids, peptidoglycans, phenolics, polyketides, polysaccharides, proteins, polysaccharide-protein/peptides, ribosomal and non-ribosomal peptides, steroids, terpenoids, etc.) possessing more than 130 different therapeutic effects (analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiplatelet, antiviral, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, immunomodulatory, immunosuppressive, mitogenic/regenerative, etc.).

The early record of Materia Medica shows evidence of using mushrooms for treatment of different diseases. Mushrooms were widely used in the traditional medicine of many countries around the world and became great resources for modern clinical and pharmacological research. However, the medicinal and biotechnological potential of mushrooms has not been fully investigated. This review discusses recent advances in research on the pharmacological potential of mushrooms and perspectives for their clinical application.


Bioactive compounds Clinical application Ethno-mycopharmacology Medicinal mushrooms Pharmacological potential 



Angiotensin-converting enzyme


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Cultural liquid






Colony-stimulating factor


Cardiovascular diseases


Dengue virus type 2


Dietary supplement




Fungal immunomodulatory protein


G. lucidum polysaccharide


Glycogen synthase kinase 3


Human immunodeficiency virus


Hexokinase 2


5-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A


Human papillomavirus 1


Herpes simplex virus 2


The half maximal inhibitory concentration






Inducible NO synthase




Madin-Darby canine kidney cells


Minimal inhibitory concentrations


Medicinal mushroom-derived drug




Nerve growth factor


Nitric oxide


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug


Oxygenated lanostane-type triterpenoid


Pathogen-associated molecular pattern


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


Pattern recognition receptor


Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and protein kinase B


Polysaccharide K




Polysaccharide-protein complex


Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B


Quality of life


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3


Traditional Chinese medicine


Triple-negative breast cancer


Tumor necrosis factor


Tumor necrosis factor alfa


Vitamin D-enriched mushroom



This chapter arises from a long-standing cooperation between two authors (S.M.B. and S.R.) on fungal research directed to the identification of bioactive compounds and medicinal properties supported by the collaboration between the Institute of Pharmacy; Yerevan State University, Armenia; and Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Montpellier/UMR 5175 CNRS, France.

We thank Philippe Callac (INRA, Villenave d’Ornon, France) for advice on the genus Agaricus. We are grateful to our colleagues Claudio Angelini (Pordenone, Italy), Guy Fourré (France), Jacques Guinberteau (France), Jean-Paul Maurice (Société Lorraine de Mycologie, Neufchâteau, France), Jean-Marc Moingeon (Goux-les-Usiers, France), Luigi Perrone (Roma, Italy), Jean-Philippe Rioult (EREM, Caen, France), and Peter Verstraeten (Nazareth, Belgium) for kindly providing photos of medicinal mushrooms (Figs. 1.1 and 1.2). We are also very thankful to mycologists and researchers around the world for providing literature data.

The authors have not reported any conflict of interest that would likely raise questions about their independence.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanna M. Badalyan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anush Barkhudaryan
    • 2
  • Sylvie Rapior
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Fungal Biology and Biotechnology, Institute of Pharmacy, Department of BiomedicineYerevan State UniversityYerevanArmenia
  2. 2.Department of Cardiology, Clinic of General and Invasive Cardiology, University Clinical Hospital No 1Yerevan State Medical UniversityYerevanArmenia
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Botanique, Phytochimie et Mycologie, Faculté de PharmacieCEFE CNRS – Université de Montpellier – Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier – EPHE – IRDMontpellier Cedex 5France

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