PloS one

Flos Puerariae extract prevents myocardial apoptosis via attenuation oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.

PMID 24865768


Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) suggests a direct cellular insult to myocardium. Apoptosis is considered as one of the hallmarks of DCM. Oxidative stress plays a key role in the pathogenesis of DCM. In this study, we explored the prevention of myocardial apoptosis by crude extract from Flos Puerariae (FPE) in experimental diabetic mice. Experimental diabetic model was induced by intraperitoneally injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 50 mg/kg/day) for five consecutive days in C57BL/6J mice. FPE (100, 200 mg/kg) was orally administrated once a day for ten weeks. Cardiac structure changes, apoptosis, superoxide production, NADPH oxidase subunits expression (gp91phox, p47phox, and p67phox), and related regulatory factors were assessed in the heart of mice. Diabetic mice were characterized by high blood glucose (≥11.1 mmol/L) and reduced body weight. In the end of the experiment, aberrant myofilament structure, as well as TUNEL positive cardiac cells coupled with increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Caspase-3 expression was found in diabetic mice. Moreover, ROS formation, the ratio of NADP+/NADPH and NADPH oxidase subunits expression of gp91phox and p47phox, lipid peroxidation level was significantly increased, while antioxidant enzyme SOD and GSH-Px activity were reduced in the myocardial tissue of diabetic mice. In contrast, treatment with FPE resulted in a normalized glucose and weight profile. FPE administration also preserved myocardial structure and reduced apoptotic cardiac cell death in diabetic mice. The elevated markers of oxidative stress were significantly reversed by FPE supplementation. Further, FPE treatment markedly inhibited the increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Caspase-3 expression, as well as suppressed JNK and P38 MAPK activation in the heart of diabetic mice. Our data demonstrate for the first time that FPE may have therapeutic potential for STZ-induced diabetic cardiomyopathy through preventing myocardial apoptosis via attenuation oxidative stress. And this effect is probably mediated by JNK and P38 MAPK signaling pathway.