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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 189891, 13 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of an Epitypified Ophiocordyceps formosana (Cordyceps s.l.) for Its Pharmacological Potential

1Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
2Mucho Biotechnology Inc., Taipei 10684, Taiwan
3Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba 305-8575, Japan
4Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10672, Taiwan
5Center for Biotechnology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
6Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba 305-8575, Japan
7Graduate Institute of Microbiology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10051, Taiwan

Received 10 March 2015; Revised 13 July 2015; Accepted 16 July 2015

Academic Editor: Min Li

Copyright © 2015 Yen-Wen Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The substantial merit of Cordyceps s.l. spp. in terms of medicinal benefits is largely appreciated. Nevertheless, only few studies have characterized and examined the clinical complications of the use of health tonics containing these species. Here, we epitypified C. formosana isolates that were collected and characterized as Ophiocordyceps formosana based on morphological characteristics, molecular phylogenetic analyses, and metabolite profiling. Thus, we renamed and transferred C. formosana to the new protologue Ophiocordyceps formosana (Kobayasi & Shimizu) Wang, Tsai, Tzean & Shen comb. nov. Additionally, the pharmacological potential of O. formosana was evaluated based on the hot-water extract from its mycelium. The relative amounts of the known bioactive ingredients that are unique to Cordyceps s.l. species in O. formosana were found to be similar to the amounts in O. sinensis and C. militaris, indicating the potential applicability of O. formosana for pharmacological uses. Additionally, we found that O. formosana exhibited antioxidation activities in vitro and in vivo that were similar to those of O. sinensis and C. militaris. Furthermore, O. formosana also displayed conspicuously effective antitumor activity compared with the tested Cordyceps s.l. species. Intrinsically, O. formosana exhibited less toxicity than the other Cordyceps species. Together, our data suggest that the metabolites of O. formosana may play active roles in complementary medicine.