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Phytomedicine. 2014 Feb 15;21(3):372-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.08.022. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Ergosterol peroxide from Cordyceps cicadae ameliorates TGF-β1-induced activation of kidney fibroblasts.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China.
2
Department of Nephrology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China. Electronic address: lhkidney@hotmail.com.
3
State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Chronic kidney disease is a growing public health problem with an urgent need for new pharmacological agents. Ergosterol peroxide (EP) is the major sterol produced by Cordyceps cicadae Shing (C. cicadae), a widely used traditional Chinese medicine. C. cicadae has been used to treat many kinds of diseases and has a potential benefit on renoprotection. This study aimed to investigate the anti-fibrotic effects of EP as well as the underlying mechanisms. A normal rat kidney fibroblast cell line (NRK-49F) was stimulated to undergo fibroblast activation by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and EP treatment was applied to explore its potential anti-fibrotic effects. Cell proliferation was investigated using MTT analysis. Fibrosis-associated protein expression was analyzed using immunohistochemistry and/or Western blotting. EP treatment attenuated TGF-β1-induced renal fibroblast proliferation, expression of cytoskeleton protein and CTGF, as well as ECM production. Additionally, EP blocked TGF-β1-stimulated phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 and JNK pathway. Moreover, the TGF-β1-induced expression of fibronectin was attenuated by either inhibition of MAPKs or by EP treatment. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that EP is able to suppress TGF-β1-induced fibroblasts activation in NRK-49F. This new information provides a line of theoretical evidence supporting the use of C. cicadae in the intervention of kidney disease and suggests that EP has the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent to prevent renal fibrosis.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic kidney disease; Cordyceps cicadae; Ergosterol peroxide; Fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transdifferentiaton; TGF-β1

PMID:
24095053
DOI:
10.1016/j.phymed.2013.08.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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