BACKGROUND The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cordycepin prevented adhesion formation in a rat model. METHODS Rats were randomly assigned to 3 groups of 10 rats. CONTROL GROUP The absence of adhesion was confirmed via laparotomy. Adhesion group: The cecum was removed from the abdomen and scraped with a dry gauze bandage until petechial hemorrhagic foci developed. Cordycepin group: The same surgical procedure was performed as in the adhesion group, and 10 mg/kg cordycepin was administered intraperitoneally. After 15 days, the rats were sacrificed humanely via cardiac blood withdrawal under anesthesia. The rats were then analyzed morphologically and histopathologically, and hydroxyproline (OH-p) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were measured. RESULTS Macroscopic analysis revealed significantly less adhesion in the cordycepin group than in the adhesion group (p<0.01). Furthermore, significant histopathological improvement was also evident in the cordycepin group compared to the adhesion group (p<0.05). The levels of OH-p and MDA in blood and tissue were higher in the adhesion group than in the control group, and lower in the cordycepin group than the adhesion group. Interestingly, MDA level was significantly lower (blood: p<0.05; tissue: p<0.01) in the cordycepin group than in the adhesion group, whereas only tissue OH-p was significantly lower in the cordycepin group compared with the adhesion group (p<0.05). One rat in both adhesion group and cordycepin group died postoperatively. CONCLUSION Results indicated that cordycepin effectively reduced adhesion in a rat abrasion model. Thus, this agent may be valuable to prevent postoperative adhesion.