Asiatic acid alleviates cardiovascular remodelling in rats with L-NAME-induced hypertension

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SUMMARYA previous study demonstrated the antihypertensive effect of asiatic acid. The current study investigates the effect of asiatic acid on cardiovascular remodelling and possible mechanisms involved inNω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME)-induced hypertensive rats. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were treated with L-NAME (40 mg/kg per day) for 3 weeks in order to induce hypertension. Hypertensive rats were administered asiatic acid (20 mg/kg per day) or vehicle for a further 2 weeks. It was found that hypertensive rats showed high systolic blood pressure, left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, increases in LV fibrosis, aortic wall thickness and aortic collagen deposition (P< 0.05). Moreover, decreased plasma nitrate and nitrite (NOx) and increased plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were observed in hypertensive rats (P< 0.05). This was consistent with downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in heart and aortic tissues (P< 0.05). Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in plasma, aortic and heart tissues were significantly increased in hypertensive rats (P< 0.05). Asiatic acid markedly reduced blood pressure, alleviated cardiovascular remodelling, and restored plasma NOx and TNF-αas well as eNOS/iNOS expression in heart and aortic tissues (P< 0.05). Additionally, there was a significant reduction of MDA levels in the tissues of treated hypertensive rats. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the therapeutic effects of asiatic acid on blood pressure and cardiovascular remodelling, which is possibly related to the restoration of eNOS/iNOS expression, and the resulting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

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