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Planta Med. 2012 Oct;78(15):1620-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1315212. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Effect of long-term administration of cordycepin from Cordyceps militaris on testicular function in middle-aged rats.

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Department of Life Science, College of Biomedical and Health Science, Konkuk University, Chungju, Republic of Korea.


This study was carried out to examine the potential beneficial effect of cordycepin on the decline of testicular function induced with age. A total of 30 male Sprague-Dawley rats (twenty-four 12-month-olds and six 2-month-olds) were divided into five groups. The young control (YC) and middle-aged control (MC) groups received vehicle only. Cordycepin-treated groups were administered daily doses of oral cordycepin at 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg body weight for 4 months. As a result, the MC group exhibited epididymal weight loss, decreased sperm motility, and reduced spermatogenesis compared to the young control group. Interestingly, the epididymal weights of middle-aged rats were dose-dependently increased by treatment with cordycepin. Cordycepin also improved calcium levels and decreased urea and nitrogen, uric acid, and creatinine in the blood of middle-aged rats. In addition, cordycepin significantly increased sperm motility and the progressiveness of sperm movement. All cordycepin-treated groups showed well-arranged spermatogonia, densely packed cellular material, and increased numbers of mature spermatozoa in the seminiferous lumen compared to the middle-aged control group. These results indicate that long-term administration of cordycepin can counteract the decline of testicular function in middle-aged rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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