Aleksandra Karmańska, Bolesław Tomasz Karwowski

Bioactive components of Cordyceps sinensis

The search for new natural sources of biologically active substances is of interest to many scientific institutions. Edible mushrooms have extensive biosynthetic capabilities, which involve the production of bioactive compounds. One mushroom species with great medicinal value is the Chinese mace (Cordyceps sinensis, syn. Ophiocordyceps sinensis), which belongs to the Ascomycota cluster. For millennia it has been prized in Asia and used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, diabetes, cough, jaundice, erectile dysfunction. Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus that parasitizes butterfly larvae, germinates in a living host, kills and mummifies the larva, and then grows from the host’s body. People living in Tibet call this fungus Yarsa gumba, (winter-yarsa, summer-gumba). It grows at an altitude of 3500-5000 meters in the grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau. Under these extreme conditions, it produces biologically active metabolites in order to survive. The aim of this study was to present the most important active components of Chinese mace and their pharmacological effects. Some of these compounds such as adenosine, cordycepin, polysaccharides, cordimine peptide activate the immune system, show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Biologically active compounds of passionflower have immunomodulatory effects and in vitro and in vivo studies have shown their anticancer activity. Cordycepin, structurally similar to adenosine, exhibits antiviral and antimicrobial activity. The natural resources of the fungus are decreasing significantly. The Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES has classified Cordyceps sinensis as an endangered species. Due to the high demand for biologically active substances obtained from the mushroom, anamorphic cultivation of mycelium has become necessary. The quality of the obtained mycelium is checked by performing tests for levels of adenosine, 3’-deoxyadenosine, N-6 (2-hydroxyethyl)-adenosine. The mushroom belongs to nutraceuticals and is listed in the Directory of Novel Foods. In the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, Cordyceps sinensis has been listed as a medicine since 1964.

Keywords: adenosine, polysaccharides, Cordyceps, cordicepin.

© Farm Pol, 2022, 78(7): 361–371

Bioactive components of Cordyceps sinensis

326.39 kB | 8 września 2022