Anti-inflammatory and related pharmacological activities of cultured mycelia and fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris

J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 15;96(3):555-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.10.009. Epub 2004 Dec 10.


This study aimed to elucidate pharmacological activities of Cordyceps militaris. The 70% ethanolic extracts of cultured mycelia (CME) and fruiting bodies (FBE) of Cordyceps militaris were prepared. CME was able to directly scavenge the stable free radical diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), indicating its antioxidant activity. Both CME and FBE showed topical anti-inflammatory activity in the croton oil-induced ear edema in mice. CME was found to contain acute anti-inflammatory activity, which was evaluated using the carrageenin-induced edema, and also strong antinociceptive activity in writhing test. CME and FBE contain potent inhibitory activity on the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. Cordycepin, a metabolite of Cordyceps militaris, appeared to be at least partly responsible for its anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic activities. CME concentration-dependently inhibited the NO production and iNOS expression upon stimulation by lipoposaccharide in RAW 264.7, a murine macrophage cell line. In brief, we demontrate that Cordyceps militaris possesses anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activites, and related antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, and NO production-inhibitory activities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Cell Line
  • Chorioallantoic Membrane / blood supply
  • Chorioallantoic Membrane / drug effects
  • Cordyceps*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Immunoblotting
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Phytotherapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biological Products
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Nos2 protein, rat