Intraocular pressure-lowering effect of Cordyceps cicadae mycelia extract in a glaucoma rat model

Int J Med Sci. 2021 Jan 1;18(4):1007-1014. doi: 10.7150/ijms.47912. eCollection 2021.


Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. This study evaluates the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) induced by C. cicadae mycelia extract in a steroid-induced rat model of glaucoma. Cordyceps cicadae mycelia is a well-known and valued traditional Chinese herbal medicine. C. cicadae mycelia were cultured using a liquid fermentation technique. The harvested C. cicadae mycelia were then lyophilized and extracted with two solvents, water and ethanol. The aqueous extract (CCM-DW) and ethanolic extract (CCM-EtOH) of the mycelia were obtained through lyophilization. Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 6 in each group): a normal group, a control group, and experimental groups treated with CCM-DW, or CCM-EtOH (both at 50 mg/kg/body weight). Except for those in the normal group, all rats received a subconjunctival injection of betamethasone to induce high IOP. The rats in the experimental groups received a daily administration of CCM by oral gavage for four consecutive weeks. IOP reduction is the known treatment for glaucoma. The results revealed that steroid treatment caused a significant increase in the animals' IOP (control group). Elevated IOP decreased significantly after treatment with CCM-DW and CCM-EtOH (p < 0.01), and CCM-DW was more effective than CCM-EtOH. CCM-DW and CCM-EtOH were capable of causing significant decreases in high IOP-induced lesions in pathological studies in which it was shown that the efficacy of CCM-DW surpassed that of CCM-EtOH. After CCM-DW administration for 28 days, there were significant decreases in malondialdehyde and lactate dehydrogenase levels and significant increases in catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase levels. In summary, C. cicadae mycelia may be beneficial for preventing or treating glaucoma due to its significant IOP-lowering and antioxidant activities.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Cordyceps cicadae mycelia; Glaucoma; Intraocular pressure.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Betamethasone / toxicity
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage*
  • Biological Products / isolation & purification
  • Cordyceps / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glaucoma / chemically induced
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mycelium / chemistry
  • Rats


  • Antioxidants
  • Biological Products
  • Betamethasone

Supplementary concepts

  • Cordyceps cicadae