Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B

, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 1024–1033

Cordyceps cicadae extracts ameliorate renal malfunction in a remnant kidney model


DOI: 10.1631/jzus.B1100034

Cite this article as:
Zhu, R., Chen, Y., Deng, Y. et al. J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B (2011) 12: 1024. doi:10.1631/jzus.B1100034


Background and Objectives

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health problem with an urgent need for new pharmacological agents. Cordyceps cicadae is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has potential renoprotective benefits. The current study aimed to determine any scientific evidence to support its clinical use.


We analyzed the potential of two kinds of C. cicadae extract, total extract (TE) and acetic ether extract (AE), in treating kidney disease simulated by a subtotal nephrectomy (SNx) model. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into seven groups: sham-operated group, vehicle-treated SNx, Cozaar, 2 g/(kg·d) TE SNx, 1 g/(kg·d) TE SNx, 92 mg/(kg·d) AE SNx, and 46 mg/(kg·d) AE SNx. Renal injury was monitored using urine and serum analyses, and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stainings were used to analyze the level of fibrosis. The expression of type IV collagen (Col IV), fibronectin (FN), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was detected by immunohistochemistry.


Renal injury, reflected in urine and serum analyses, and pathological changes induced by SNx were attenuated by TE and AE intervention. The depositions of Col IV and FN were also decreased by the treatments and were accompanied by reduced expression of TGF-β1 and CTGF. In some respects, 2 g/(kg·d) of TE produced better effects than Cozaar.


For the first time, we have shown that C. cicadae may inhibit renal fibrosis in vivo through the TGF-β1/CTGF pathway. Therefore, we conclude that the use of C. cicadae could provide a rational strategy for combating renal fibrosis.

Key words

Chronic kidney disease Cordyceps cicadae TGF-β Traditional Chinese medicine 

CLC number


Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nephrology, Longhua HospitalShanghai University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShanghaiChina

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