Entomopathogenic fungi forming fruiting bodies have been employed as tonics and antitussives from ancient times. Paecilomyces tenuipes, which is also called Isaria japonica, is a very popular entomopathogenic fungus and is often considered a health food in northeast Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan. We cultivated the fruiting bodies of Paecilomyces tenuipes. Among the large-scale cultivations, fruiting body grown in barley grain contained two novel spirocyclic trichothecane derivatives, spirotenuipesine A (1) and B (2), and known trichothecane mycotoxins. Compounds 1 and 2 showed potent activity in neurotrophic factor biosynthesis in glial cells. The isolation of these compounds indicated that P. tenuipes is a promising source for producing various biologically active substances including trichothecanes. It is noteworthy that trichothecane mycotoxins are present in Paecilomyces tenuipes, which is typically used in medicinal health food.
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