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Cordycepin, an Active Constituent of Nutrient Powerhouse and Potential Medicinal Mushroom <i>Cordyceps militaris</i> Linn., Ameliorates Age-Related Testicular Dysfunction in Rats

Kopalli, Spandana Rajendra, Cha, Kyu-Min, Lee, Sang-Ho, Hwang, Seock-Yeon, Lee, Young-Joo, Koppula, Sushruta, Kim, Si-Kwan
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.4
Cordyceps militaris, antioxidant enzymes, cordycepin, gene expression, histones, kinematics, laboratory animals, males, medicinal fungi, nutrient content, rapamycin, rats, sex hormone receptors, sperm motility, spermatozoa, testes, therapeutics
Age-related male sexual dysfunction covers a wide variety of issues, together with spermatogenic and testicular impairment. In the present work, the effects of cordycepin (COR), an active constituent of a nutrient powerhouse Cordyceps militaris Linn, on senile testicular dysfunction in rats was investigated. The sperm kinematics, antioxidant enzymes, spermatogenic factors, sex hormone receptors, histone deacetylating sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), and autophagy-related mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) expression in aged rat testes were evaluated. Sprague Dawley rats were divided into young control (2-month-old; YC), aged control (12-month-old; AC), and aged plus COR-treated groups (5 (COR-5), 10 (COR-10), and 20 (COR-20) mg/kg). The AC group showed reduced sperm kinematics and altered testicular histomorphology compared with the YC group (p < 0.05). However, compared with the AC group, the COR-treated group exhibited improved sperm motility, progressiveness, and average path/straight line velocity (p < 0.05&ndash;0.01). Alterations in spermatogenesis-related protein and mRNA expression were significantly ameliorated (p < 0.05) in the COR-20 group compared with the AC group. The altered histone deacetylating SIRT1 and autophagy-related mTORC1 molecular expression in aged rats were restored in the COR-20 group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results suggest that COR holds immense nutritional potential and therapeutic value in ameliorating age-related male sexual dysfunctions.