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Cardioprotective effects of Chinese herbal medicine Braintone on myocardial infarction in rats

Han Zhong, Hong Xin, Yi-Zhun Zhu*   

  1. Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2009-12-10 Revised:2010-03-15 Online:2010-05-15 Published:2010-05-15
  • Contact: Yi-Zhun Zhu*

Abstract: Recently, we reported the unique effects of cerebral protection of the Chinese herbal medicine-Braintone (a formulation containing Radix Rhodiola, Folium Ginkgo, Radix Notoginseng and Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong), also known as Remembrance. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Braintone may extend cardioprotective effects on ischemic myocardium in Wistar rats. Animal model was created by ligating of left descending coronary artery. Mortality rate and infarct volume were assessed. In addition, capillary density, antioxidant enzymes, apoptosis modulators and VEGF, eNOS mRNA expression level were investigated to reveal the underlying mechanisms. Treatment with Braintone reduced mortality rate from 41.7% to 22.2% associate with notable diminished infarct volume (30.4%±9.0% vs 18.0%±3.0%). Braintone also acted as antioxidant agent for preserving the activities of catalase (13.07±0.48 U vs 9.71±0.44 U in vehicle, P<0.01). Furthermore, Braintone dramatically boosted the expression levels of anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl (1.43-, 2.30-fold, P<0.01) as compared to vehicle group and significantly down-regulated the expression level of pro-apoptotic gene Bax (0.84-fold, P<0.01) while slightly inhibited Caspase-9 and Caspase-3 signals. Moreover, higher mRNA expression levels of VEGF and eNOS were observed in Braintone group consisting with a remarkable raise of capillary density (46.0±13.3 vs 27.4±12.6, P<0.01) in myocardium. The findings indicated that Braintone markedly attenuate myocardial damage induced by ischemic insults in vivo. Braintone may confer cardioprotection via scavenging free radicals, inhibiting cardiomyocytes apoptosis and promoting angiogenesis in ischemic region.

Key words: Acute myocardial infarction, Braintone, Reactive oxygen species, Apoptosis, Angiogenesis

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