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      Hepatoprotective Effects of Mushrooms

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          The particular characteristics of growth and development of mushrooms in nature result in the accumulation of a variety of secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds, terpenes and steroids and essential cell wall components such as polysaccharides, β-glucans and proteins, several of them with biological activities. The present article outlines and discusses the available information about the protective effects of mushroom extracts against liver damage induced by exogenous compounds. Among mushrooms, Ganoderma lucidum is indubitably the most widely studied species. In this review, however, emphasis was given to studies using other mushrooms, especially those presenting efforts of attributing hepatoprotective activities to specific chemical components usually present in the mushroom extracts.

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          Most cited references 118

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          Liver enzyme alteration: a guide for clinicians.

          Isolated alterations of biochemical markers of liver damage in a seemingly healthy patient can present a challenge for the clinician. In this review we provide a guide to interpreting alterations to liver enzyme levels. The functional anatomy of the liver and pathophysiology of liver enzyme alteration are briefly reviewed. Using a schematic approach that classifies enzyme alterations as predominantly hepatocellular or predominantly cholestatic, we review abnormal enzymatic activity within the 2 subgroups, the most common causes of enzyme alteration and suggested initial investigations.
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            The current state of serum biomarkers of hepatotoxicity.

            The level of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity reflects damage to hepatocytes and is considered to be a highly sensitive and fairly specific preclinical and clinical biomarker of hepatotoxicity. However, an increase in serum ALT activity level has also been associated with other organ toxicities, thus, indicating that the enzyme has specificity beyond liver in the absence of correlative histomorphologic alteration in liver. Thus, unidentified non-hepatic sources of serum ALT activity may inadvertently influence the decision of whether to continue development of a novel pharmaceutical compound. To assess the risk of false positives due to extraneous sources of serum ALT activity, additional biomarkers are sought with improved specificity for liver function compared to serum ALT activity alone. Current published biomarker candidates are reviewed herein and compared with ALT performance in preclinical and on occasion, clinical studies. An examination of the current state of hepatotoxic biomarkers indicates that serum F protein, arginase I, and glutathione-S-transferase alpha (GSTalpha) levels, all measured by ELISA, may show utility, however, antibody availability and high cost per run may present limitations to widespread applicability in preclinical safety studies. In contrast, the enzymatic markers sorbitol dehydrogenase, glutamate dehydrogenase, paraxonase, malate dehydrogenase, and purine nucleoside phosphorylase are all readily measured by photometric methods and use reagents that work across preclinical species and humans and are commercially available. The published literature suggests that these markers, once examined collectively in a large qualification study, could provide additional information relative to serum ALT and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) values. Since these biomarkers are found in the serum/plasma of treated humans and rats, they have potential to be utilized as bridging markers to monitor acute drug-induced liver injury in early clinical trials.
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              The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms

              This review describes pharmacologically active compounds from mushrooms. Compounds and complex substances with antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor, antiallergic, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective and central activities are covered, focusing on the review of recent literature. The production of mushrooms or mushroom compounds is discussed briefly.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Department of Biochemistry, State University of Maringá, Maringá 87015-900, Brazil; E-Mails: andasoares7@ (A.S.S.); anacharis@ (A.B.S.-N.); adebracht@ (A.B.); cgmsouza@ (C.G.M.S.)
                [2 ]Department of Biology, State University of Maringá, Maringá 87015-900, Brazil; E-Mail: sandrafungi51@
                [3 ]Department of Nutrition, Federal University of the Southern Frontier, Realeza 85770-000, Brazil; E-Mail: eloa-angelica@
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: rmperalta@ or rosanemperalta@ ; Tel.: +55-44-3011-4715.
                01 July 2013
                July 2013
                : 18
                : 7
                : 7609-7630
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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