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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (7): 775-782.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110712

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicines Shengmai injection and Xuesaitong injection on ventricular fibrillation threshold and connexin 43 expression in rats with myocardial infarction

Ai-ming Wu1,2, Dong-mei Zhang1,2, Li-xia Lou1,2, Jian-ying Zhai3, Xi-ying Lü1,2, Li-min Chai1,2, Shuo-ren Wang1,2()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine of Educational Ministry and Beijing City, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Heart Diseases of State Administration of TCM of the People’s Republic of China, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China
    3. National Engineering Research Center for R&-D of TCM Multi-ingredient Drugs, Beijing 100079, China
  • Received:2011-02-10 Accepted:2011-03-10 Online:2011-07-20 Published:2011-06-15

Objective: To explore the effects of Shengmai injection and Xuesaitong injection, compound Chinese herbal medicines for replenishing qi and activating blood, on ventricular fibrillation threshold, heart structure and connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in rats with myocardial infarction (MI).
Methods: One hundred male SD rats were randomly divided into sham operation group, model group, Yiqi Huoxue (YQHX) group (Shengmai injection plus Xuesaitong injection) and captopril group. MI model of rats was established by ligating left anterior descending coronary artery, and rats in sham operation group were prepared in the same way except for the ligation of coronary artery. Rats were treated with corresponding drugs for 1 month from next day after modeling. After treatment ventricular fibrillation threshold was detected, and heart weight index, left ventricular internal diameter and percentage of myocardial infarction were measured. Expression of Cx43 mRNA in myocardium was detected by real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and expression of Cx43 protein was observed by immunohistochemical method.
Results: Compared with the sham operation group, ventricular fibrillation threshold decreased significantly, heart weight index and left ventricular internal diameter increased, while expressions of Cx43 mRNA and protein decreased remarkably in the model group (P<0.01). Compared with the model group, ventricular fibrillation threshold was increased significantly, heart weight index, left ventricular internal diameter and percentage of myocardial infarction were decreased significantly in the YQHX group and captopril group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). When it comes to expression of Cx43, both Cx43 mRNA and protein expressions were increased remarkably in the YQHX group compared with the model group (P<0.05 or P<0.01), while only density mean and integral optical density of Cx43 protein expression were increased significantly in the captopril group (P<0.05). The enhancements on Cx43 mRNA and positive area sum of Cx43 protein induced by YQHX drugs were stronger than those induced by captopril (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Shengmai injection and Xuesaitong injection have beneficial effects on ventricular fibrillation threshold in rats with MI. The mechanism is related with improving heart structure and reducing Cx43 expression after MI.

Key words: Shengmai injection, Xuesaitong injection, myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation threshold, connexin 43, ventricular remodeling, rats

Table 1

Comparison of ventricular fibrillation threshold caused by electric stimulation of left ventricle in vivo and heart weight index among different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n Ventricular fibrillation threshold (V) Heart weight index (mg/g)
Sham operation 7 10.14±3.08 3.42±0.32
Model 8 4.63±1.19** 4.11±0.52**
Captopril 7 9.00±3.11△△ 3.56±0.23△△
YQHX 6 11.00±3.69△△ 3.69±0.20

Table 2

Comparison of left ventricular internal diameter and percentage of myocardial infarction among different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n Left ventricular internal diameter (mm) Percentage of myocardial infarction (%)
Sham operation 9 3.33±0.29 -
Model 9 5.98±1.28** 41.87±12.32
Captopril 9 4.50±0.83**△△ 25.23±10.29△△
YQHX 9 4.51±0.83**△△ 25.21±11.26△△

Table 3

Comparison of myocardial connexin 43 mRNA expression among different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n Connexin 43 mRNA fold value
Sham operation 7 1.03±0.28
Model 5 0.61±0.26**
Captopril 8 0.68±0.14*
YQHX 8 0.99±0.27△▲

Figure 1

Expression of connexin 43 protein in myocardial tissues of rats observed by immunohistochemical method with diaminobenzidine staining in different groups (Light microscopy, ×400) A: Negative control; B: Sham operation group; C: Model group; D: Captopril group; E: Yiqi Huoxue group."

Table 4

Expression of connexin 43 protein in myocardial tissues of rats detected by immunohistochemical staining among different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n Density mean Area sum (μm2) IOD mean (μm2)
Sham operation 9 0.273±0.027 2 998.36±428.65 1.70±0.43
Model 9 0.237±0.015** 1 632.21±322.50** 0.81±0.17**
Captopril 9 0.266±0.015 2 076.30±736.57** 1.18±0.24*
YQHX 9 0.270±0.033△△ 2 637.58±607.03△△▲ 1.42±0.13△△
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