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Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2014 Mar;14(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s12012-013-9232-0.

Cordycepin, 3'-deoxyadenosine, prevents rat hearts from ischemia/reperfusion injury via activation of Akt/GSK-3β/p70S6K signaling pathway and HO-1 expression.

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Department of Biomedical Chemistry, College of Biomedical and Health Science, Konkuk University, 322 Danwol-Dong, Chungju, Chungbuk, 380-701, Republic of Korea.


Cordycepin (3'-deoxyadenosine) isolated from Cordyceps militaris, a species of the fungal genus Cordyceps, has been shown to exhibit many pharmacological functions, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities. In this study, we investigated the preventive role of cordycepin in ischemic/reperfusion (I/R) injury of isolated rat hearts and anesthetized rats. After Sprague-Dawley rats received cordycepin (3, 10, and 30 mg/kg) or control (0.5 % carboxyl methylcellulose) orally once a day for a week, hearts were isolated and mounted on Langendorff heart perfusion system. Isolated hearts were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer for 15-min pre-ischemic stabilization period and subjected to 30-min global ischemia and 30-min reperfusion. Cordycepin administration (10 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly increased left ventricular developed pressure during the reperfusion period compared to that in the control group, but without any effect on coronary flow. Cordycepin (10 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly increased the phosphorylation of Akt/GSK-3β/p70S6K pathways, which are known to modulate multiple survival pathways. In addition, cordycepin decreased Bax and cleaved caspase-3 expression while increasing Bcl-2 expression, Bcl-2/Bax ratio, and heme oxygenase (HO-1) expression in isolated rat hearts. In anesthetized rats subjected to 30 min occlusion of left anterior descending coronary artery/2.5-h reperfusion, cordycepin (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg, i.v.) administered 15 min before the onset of ischemia dose-dependently decreased the infarct size in left ventricle. In conclusion, cordycepin could be an attractive therapeutic candidate with oral activity against I/R-associated heart diseases such as myocardial infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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