Protective effects of Astragalus polysaccharides against endothelial dysfunction in hypertrophic rats induced by isoproterenol

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Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) is an important bioactive component extracted from Chinese herb Astragalus membranaceus. It has been widely used in treatment of cardiovascular diseases. We have previously reported that APS could inhibit isoproterenol-induced cardiac hypertrophy. The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of APS on vascular endothelia in cardiac hypertrophy rats induced by isoproterenol (ISO). ISO (10 mg × kg− 1) was intraperitoneally injected once daily for 2 weeks to induce cardiac hypertrophy. APS (400 and 800 mg × kg− 1) was intragastrically injected once daily along with ISO. The results showed that combination with APS significantly ameliorates the endothelial dysfunction while attenuates cardiac hypertrophy induced by ISO. We found that administration with APS could attenuate the increase in number of circulating endothelial cell (CEC). APS also decreases the superoxide anion generation and the protein expression of p65 and the levels of TNF-α and IL-6; while increases the cGMP levels, an activity marker for nitric oxide (NO) in aortas. In addition, APS improves the relaxation dysfunction in isolated aortic rings and increases the protein expression of IκBα and Cu/Zn-SOD in aortas. In conclusion, our results suggested that APS had a protective effect against endothelial dysfunction in hypertrophic rats induced by ISO. The underlining mechanisms may be contributed to the anti-inflammatory effects and the improvement of the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and NO.

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