Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology

Involvements of calcium channel and potassium channel in Danshen and Gegen decoction induced vasodilation in porcine coronary LAD artery.

PMID 22889578


Danshen (Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix) and Gegen (Puerariae Lobatae Radix) have been widely used in treating cardiovascular diseases for thousands of years in China. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of a Danshen and Gegen decoction (DG) on the vascular reactivity of a porcine isolated coronary artery and the underlying mechanisms involved. Porcine coronary rings were precontracted with 15 nM U46619. The involvement of endothelium-dependent mechanisms was explored by removing the endothelium; the involvement of potassium channels was investigated by the pretreatment of the artery rings with various blockers, and the involvement of the calcium channels was investigated by incubating the artery rings with Ca²⁺-free buffer and priming them with high [K⁺] prior to adding CaCl₂ to elicit contraction. The involvement of Ca²⁺ sensitization was explored by evaluating the Rho-activity expression. The results revealed that DG elicited a concentration-dependent relaxation on a U46619-precontracted coronary artery ring. These relaxation responses were not altered by the pretreatment of inhibitors of endothelium-related dilator synthases, cGMP and cAMP pathway inhibitors, potassium channel (BK(Ca), SK(Ca), K(V) and K(ATP)) blockers and endothelium removal. The K(IR) channel blocker BaCl₂ only slightly attenuated the DG-induced relaxation. However, the Ca²⁺-induced artery contraction was inhibited by DG. Additionally, the expression of the phosphorylated myosin light chain was inhibited by DG whereas the activity of RhoA was not affected. Therefore, DG could be a useful cardioprotective agent for vasodilation in patients who have hypertension.