Cordyceps suppresses the development of arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes progressive destruction of joints. It is characterized by hyperplasia of the synovial membrane and destruction of cartilage.

Synovial membrane hyperplasia is a pathological overgrowth of the inner lining of the joint, called the synovial membrane. Normally, this membrane is thin, but in rheumatoid arthritis, it significantly thickens due to inflammation and increased cell proliferation.

Cartilage destruction is the breakdown of the cartilage tissue that covers the articular surfaces of bones.

However, a recent study by scientists from South Korea showed that cordycepin, a substance isolated from the Cordyceps militaris mushroom, could become a potential agent for the prevention of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

The study was conducted on synovial fibroblasts isolated from the tissues of 12 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These cells play a key role in the development of inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.

The results showed that

"cordycepin inhibited IL-1β-induced expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASFs) in a dose-dependent manner."

MMP-1 and MMP-3 are enzymes that destroy the cartilage tissue of joints. Their inhibition may prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Moreover, cordycepin

"specifically blocked the IL-1β-induced production of ENA-78 in RASFs."

ENA-78 is a proinflammatory chemokine that attracts immune cells to the joints, enhancing inflammation. Its inhibition may also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

It's important to note that

"treatment of synovial fibroblasts with cordycepin (50 μM or 100 μM) for 24 hours did not cause any significant changes in cell viability."

That is, at the indicated concentrations, cordycepin did not show toxicity to cells.

Based on these results, the authors of the study concluded that

"cordycepin may be a potential candidate for the prevention of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis."

Cordycepin, a bioactive substance from the Cordyceps militaris mushroom, demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and a significant ability to prevent the destruction of joint cartilage tissue. Furthermore, the use of the mushroom proved to be safe and non-toxic for humans.

The article was published in the journal Rheumatology 2009;48:45-48

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