Aim of the study: The traditional Chinese medicine Cordyceps sinensis (CS) (Clavicipitaceae) improves pulmonary function and is used to treat respiratory disease. Here, we compare the efficacy and mechanisms of action of Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris (CM) (Clavicipitaceae) in Calu-3 human airway epithelial monolayer model.
Material and methods: The extracts of Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris, as well as their isolated compounds, cordycepin and adenosine, stimulated ion transport in a dose-dependent manner in Calu-3 monolayers. In subsequent experiments, transport inhibitor bumetanide and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide were added after Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris extracts to determine their effects on Cl- and HCO3- movement.
Results: The results suggested that Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris extracts may affect the anion movement from the basolateral to apical compartments in the airway epithelia.
Conclusions: Basolateral Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter and apical cAMP-dependent cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator Cl- channel are involved in the process. The results provide the first evidence for the pharmacological mechanism of Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris on respiratory tract.