Original Article

Cordyceps sinensis protects against liver and heart injuries in a rat model of chronic kidney disease: a metabolomic analysis

Authors: Xia Liu, Fang Zhong, Xu-long Tang, Fu-lin Lian, Qiao Zhou, Shan-mai Guo, Jia-fu Liu, Peng Sun, Xu Hao, Ying Lu, Wei-ming Wang, Nan Chen, Nai-xia Zhang
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2013.186


Xia LIU2, #, Fang ZHONG1, #, Xu-long TANG2, #, Fu-lin LIAN2, Qiao ZHOU1, Shan-mai GUO1, Jia-fu LIU3, Peng SUN2, Xu HAO1, Ying LU1, Wei-ming WANG1, *, Nan CHEN1, Nai-xia ZHANG2, *
1Department of Nephrology, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China; 2Department of Analytical Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China; 3Blood Research Institute, Blood Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA

Aim: To test the hypothesis that the traditional Chinese medicine Cordyceps sinensis could improve the metabolic function of extrarenal organs to achieve its anti-chronic kidney disease (CKD) effects.
Methods: Male SD rats were divided into CKD rats (with 5/6-nephrectomy), CKD rats treated with Cordyceps sinensis (4 mg·kg-1·d-1, po), and sham-operated rats. After an 8-week treatment, metabolites were extracted from the hearts and livers of the rats, and then subjected to 1H-NMR-based metabolomic analysis.

Results: Oxidative stress, energy metabolism, amino acid and protein metabolism and choline metabolism were considered as links between CKD and extrarenal organ dysfunction. Within the experimental period of 8 weeks, the metabolic disorders in the liver were more pronounced than in the heart, suggesting that CKD-related extrarenal organ dysfunctions occurred sequentially rather than simultaneously. Oral administration of Cordyceps sinensis exerted statistically significant rescue effects on the liver and heart by reversely regulating levels of those metabolites that are typically perturbed in CKD.

Conclusion: Oral administration of Cordyceps sinensis significantly attenuates the liver and heart injuries in CKD rats. The 1H NMR-based metabolomic approach has provided a systematic view for understanding of CKD and the drug treatment, which can also be used to elucidate the mechanisms of action of other traditional Chinese medicines.

Keywords: Cordyceps sinensis; chronic kidney disease; liver injury; heart injury; metabolomics; nuclear magnetic resonance; traditional Chinese medicine

We thank Jerry LANGE for proofreading. This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No 30900662), the Shanghai Foundation for Development of Science and Technology (Grant No 08411965600) and the “100 Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
# These authors contribute equally to this work.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail naixiazhang@mail.shcnc.ac.cn (Nai-xia ZHANG); wweiming@medmail.com.cn (Wei-ming WANG)
Received 2013-09-18 Accepted 2013-12-06

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