Background: Cordycepin is an extract from the insect fungus Cordyceps. militaris with various biological function. In previous studies, cordycepin has demonstrated an excellent anti-obesity effect, but the mechanism is unclear. It was also demonstrated that prolactin played an important role in body weight regulation and hyperprolactinemia can promote appetite and accelerate fat deposition. In this study, we explored the molecular mechanism of the anti-obesity effect of cordycepin.
Methods: In Vivo, the obese rat model was induced by high fat diet for five weeks, and the serum and liver lipid levels coupled with the serum prolactin levels were reduced following cordycepin treatment (P<0.01).
Results: The results suggested that cordycepin is a potential drug that lowers blood and liver lipid levels and reduces body weight related to prolactin. Cordycepin also protects adipocytes from enlargement and hepatocytes from lipotoxicity-induced inflammation. In vitro, cordycepin inhibited prolactin secretion in GH3 cells via upregulating the expression of adenosine A1 receptor, and the inhibition effect was blocked by an antagonist of adenosine receptor A1 DPDPX, demonstrating that cordycepin may work as an adenosine agonist. Additionally, cordycepin inhibited the ERK/AKT/PI3K pathway in GH3 cells. At the same time, cordycepin blocked prolactininduced upregulation of lipogenesis genes PRLR, and phosphorylation of JAK2 in 3T3-L1 cells. In an in vivo study, cordycepin downregulated the expression of prolactin receptor (PRLR) but not the phosphorylation of JAK2.
Conclusion: Thus, it was proved that cordycepin modulates body weight by reducing prolactin release via an adenosine A1 receptor.