Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Pers., commonly known as lion’s mane mushroom, monkey’s head mushroom or Yamabushitake, is an edible medicinal mushroom with medicinal properties.
The aim of the study was to establish a mycelial cultures of H. erinaceus and use them for cultivation to obtain the fruiting bodies. Subsequently, the levels of indole compounds with antidepressant and procognitive activity were measured by RP-HPLC method in methanolic extracts from mycelium material and in extracts from fruiting bodies for comparison. The mycelium of H. erinaceus can be obtained in in vitro conditions. H. erinaceus is a rich source of indole compounds (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP), melatonin and tryptamine). All of the investigated compounds were present in the H. erinaceus mycelium in higher quantity than in the mushroom's fruiting bodies. Interestingly, melatonin was only present in the mycelium but not in the fruiting bodies. The possibility of biotechnologically controlled cultivation opens an avenue for these medicinal mushrooms to be of use as a dietary supplement and even medicine in the future.