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Current Research: Cardiology

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Investigation of the cardioprotective effects of Crataegus oxycantha and its molecular mechanism

Author(s): Harshul Parikh*, CB Tripathi, Prakash Shah, Vijay Ghori and Ramesh K Goyal

BaCKGRound: Crataegus oxycantha has been used as a cardiotonic for the treatment of early stage congestive heart failure; however, there are few authentic investigational studies addressing its cardioprotective use.

oBJECTIVE: To investigate the cardioprotective effect of C oxycantha and to elucidate its possible mechanism of action.

METHodS: The effects of C oxycantha was studied using a rat model of isoproterenol (ISO) (100 mg/kg subcutaneous for two days) -induced myocardial necrosis. Cardiac damage was assessed using various biochemical enzymes and histological studies. Various oxidative parameters and Na+-K+ ATPase activity were studied to elucidate the mechanism of action.

RESulTS: Pretreatment with C oxycantha significantly prevented the increase in serum levels of cardiac troponin-I, creatine kinase-MB, lactate dehydrogenase, glutamate oxalotransaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase and uric acid in ISO-treated (100 mg/kg) rats. The increased serum levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and atherogenic index after ISO administration were decreased to nearly normal levels by C oxycantha extract. Pretreatment with C oxycantha in ISOtreated animals produced significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and significant increase in endogenous antioxidant superoxide dismutase, catalase and reduced glutathione in myocardial tissue. C oxycantha extract significantly inhibited Na+-K+ ATPase enzyme present in heart homogenate by virtue of presence of ursolic acid as evidenced by high-performance thin layer chromatography analysis of C oxycantha extract, which may be a possible mechanism of cardiotonic activity of C oxycantha.

C oxycantha may be viewed as potentially cardiotonic, cardioprotective and antioxidant.