Cordyceps sinensis Acts As an Adenosine A3 Receptor Agonist on Mouse Melanoma and Lung Carcinoma Cells, and Human Fibrosarcoma and Colon Carcinoma Cells


Cordyceps sinensis, a parasitic fungus on the larva of Lapidoptera, has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine. We previously reported that the growth of B16-BL6 mouse melanoma (B16-BL6) cells and mouse Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells was inhibited by cordycepin (3’-deoxyadenosine), an ingredient of Cordyceps sinensis, and its effect was antagonized by MRS1191, a selective adenosine A3 receptor (A3-R) antagonist although adenosine (up to 100 μM) had no effect on the growth of B16-BL6 and LLC cells. In this study, we investigated whether water extracts of Cordyceps sinensis (WECS) inhibit the growth of B16-BL6 cells, LLC cells, HT1080 human fibrosarcoma (HT1080) cells and CW-2 human colon carcinoma (CW-2) cells via their A3-R. As a result, the growth of all cell lines were potently inhibited by WECS (10 μg/mL) and the inhibitory effect of WECS was significantly antagonized by MRS1191 (1 μM). Furthermore, WECS included 2.34% w/w cordycepin and 0.12% w/w adenosine as components according to the HPLC- ECD system. In conclusion, WECS inhibited the proliferation of four cancer cell lines by stimulation of A3-R and the main component in WECS with anticancer action might be cordycepin instead of adenosine.

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N. Yoshikawa, A. Nishiuchi, E. Kubo, Y. Yamaguchi, M. Kunitomo, S. Kagota, K. Shinozuka and K. Nakamura, "Cordyceps sinensis Acts As an Adenosine A3 Receptor Agonist on Mouse Melanoma and Lung Carcinoma Cells, and Human Fibrosarcoma and Colon Carcinoma Cells," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 266-270. doi: 10.4236/pp.2011.24034.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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