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FEBS Lett. 2003 May 22;543(1-3):140-3.

Regulatory mechanism of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium on mouse Leydig cell steroidogenesis.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, #1 Ta-Hsueh Road, 701, Tainan, Taiwan.


We demonstrate the mechanism by which Cordyceps sinensis (CS) mycelium regulates Leydig cell steroidogenesis. Mouse Leydig cells were treated with forskolin, H89, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, staurosporine, or steroidogenic enzyme precursors with or without 3 mg/ml CS; then testosterone production was determined. H89, but not phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate or staurosporine, decreased CS-treated Leydig cell steroidogenesis. CS inhibited Leydig cell steroidogenesis by suppressing the activity of P450scc enzyme, but not 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, 17alpha-hydroxylase, 20alpha-hydroxylase, or 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes. Thus, CS activated the cAMP-protein kinase A signal pathway, but not protein kinase C, and attenuated P45scc enzyme activity to reduce human chorionic gonadotropin-stimulated steroidogenesis in purified mouse Leydig cells.

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