, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 365-370
Date: 30 Nov 2007

Shenfu injection suppresses apoptosis by regulation of Bcl-2 and caspase-3 during hypoxia/reoxygenation in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes in vitro

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Shenfu injection (the major components of which are ginsenosides compound, extract of Panax ginseng shown to have antioxidant properties) is a well-known important Chinese traditional medicine used for the treatment of various diseases especial for cardiac diseases. The precise mechanism of the biological actions of this plant is not fully understood, in order to elucidate the protection of cardiomyocytes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Shenfu injection on hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-induced apoptosis and the expression of bcl-2 and caspase-3 in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes in vitro. Ventricular myocytes were isolated from neonatal rat hearts and were exposed to 4 h of hypoxia followed by 16 h of reoxygenation. The results indicated that treatment with different doses of Shenfu injection protected cardiacmyocyte cultures from hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis. Caspase-3 activation was decreased in hypoxic/reoxygenationed cardiomyocytes co-treated with Shenfu injection when compared to hypoxia/reoxygenation alone treated cultures. Expression of the Bcl-2 proteins was increased in Shenfu injection-treated cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation. In conclusion, ginsenosides compound has obviously protective effects on cardiacmyocytes against apoptosis induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation injury, whose mechanisms probably involve the inhibition of down-regulation of Bcl-2 protein levels and sequential activation of caspase-3.