Original Article

Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 47, Supplement 1, pp 35-46

First online:

Beneficial effects of astragalus polysaccharides treatment on cardiac chymase activities and cardiomyopathy in diabetic hamsters

  • Wei ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Geriatrics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine
  • , Mao-Hua YuAffiliated withDepartment of Geriatrics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine
  • , Yi-Ming LiAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Wen-Jie ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Geriatrics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine
  • , Yian-Ping XiaAffiliated withDepartment of Geriatrics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Over-activation of the local chymase–angiotensin II (Ang II) system has a dominant role in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) are used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost immunity. In this study, we investigated the effects of APS treatment on cardiac function, myocardial collagen expression, cardiac ultrastructure, cardiac matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, levels of plasma glycosylated serum protein (GSP), and myocardial enzymes, and the expression of Ang II, chymase, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the diabetic hamster myocardium. Diabetes was induced by a single injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg ip). The experimental groups consisted of normal control (n = 15), diabetic (n = 15), insulin-treated diabetic (n = 15, NPH 1–2 U/day ip), and APS-treated diabetic (n = 30, APS 1–2 g/kg/day orally for 10 weeks) hamsters. Diabetic hamsters treated with insulin or APS exhibited significantly decreased blood glucose, plasma GSP, and myocardial enzymes, as well as improvements in cardiac function and cardiac ultrastructure. Compared with insulin treatment, APS treatment significantly reduced myocardial collagen (type I and III) expression and lowered cardiac MMP-2 activity, myocardial Ang II levels, myocardial chymase expression, and p-ERK1/2 kinase expression. In diabetic hamsters, myocardial ACE expression and plasma Ang II levels was not altered by insulin or APS treatment. These results indicate that treatment of diabetic hamsters with APS inhibited the local chymase–Ang II system and improved markers of diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Keywords

Astragalus polysaccharides Diabetes Cardiomyopathy Chymase Angiotensin II