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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (6): 667-673.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120611

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Shoushen Granule on telomere length and telomerase activity of peripheral white blood cells and vascular cells in rats with atherosclerosis

Chuan Chen(), Hui-ying Chi, Zhi-hua Yu, Jiu-lin Chen#br#   

  1. Shanghai Geriatric Institute of Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2012-02-06 Accepted:2012-04-11 Online:2012-06-20 Published:2018-06-15
  • Contact: Chuan Chen E-mail:ch9453@126.com

Objective: To observe the effects of Shoushen Granule, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on telomere length and telomerase activity in peripheral leukocytes and vascular cells, artery wall lesions and blood lipid in a Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat model of atherosclerosis.
Methods: Forty SD rats were randomly divided into normal control group, model group, Shoushen Granule group and Western medicine group with 10 in each group. The rat model of atherosclerosis was established by high-fat diet and vitamin D3 loading. The model group was given gastric perfusion of double distilled water; The Shoushen Granule group and the Western medicine group were respectively given gastric perfusion of Shoushen Granule and pravastatin. After 12 weeks, pathological changes of abdominal aorta were determined by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Biochemical colorimetric method was used to detect the contents of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in serum of the rats. Telomere length and telomerase activity in peripheral leukocytes and vascular cells of the rats were tested by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method.
Results: When compared with the model group, atherosclerosis lesions of the arterial wall were significantly improved in the Shoushen Granule group. In addition, both TC and LDL-C levels in the Shoushen Granule group were decreased significantly compared with the model group (P<0.01). Besides, not only telomerase activity but also telomere length in peripheral leukocytes (P<0.01) and vascular cells (P<0.05) were increased significantly as compared to those in the model group. However, there was no significant difference between the Shoushen Granule group and the normal control group (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Shoushen Granule improves the atherosclerosis lesions in rats, and the mechanism may be related to regulating telomere length and telomerase activity.

Key words: drugs, Chinese herbal, atherosclerosis, telomeres, telomerase, dyslipidemias, rats

Table 1

The primer sequences of telomere and telomerase"

Gene Primer sequence (5′-3′)
Telomere Forward: CGGTTTGTTTGGGTTTGGGTTTGGGTTTGGGTTTGGGTT
Reverse: GGCTTGCCTTACCCTTACCCTTACCCTTACCCTTACCCT
Telomerase Forward: CAGCTCCCATTTCATCAGCAA
Reverse: GCGACATCCCTGCGTTCTT
Internal control gene Forward: CAGCAAGTGGGAAGGTGTAATCC
Reverse: CCCATTCTATCATCAACGGGTACAA

Figure 1

Abdominal aorta of rats observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining (Light microscopy, ×100) A: Normal control group; B: Model group; C: Pravastatin group; D: Shoushen Granule group."

Table 2

TC, TAG, LDL-C, HDL-C levels in serum and ratio of TC/HDL-C in different groups (x±s)"

Group n TC (mmol/L) TAG (mmol/L) LDL-C (mmol/L) HDL-C (mmol/L) TC/HDL-C
Normal control 6 1.842±0.181 0.533±0.158 0.497±0.172 0.946±0.017 1.945±0.162
Model 6 6.320±0.826** 0.312±0.050** 4.832±1.092** 0.905±0.020** 6.977±0.884**
Pravastatin 6 4.464±1.531 0.427±0.061 3.259±1.288 0.880±0.022 5.081±1.762
Shoushen Granule 6 3.754±0.681△△ 0.237±0.026 1.689±0.717△△▲ 0.867±0.021 4.344±0.873△△

Table 3

Telomere length and telomerase activity in different groups (x±s)"

Group n Telomere length Telomerase activity
Vascular cells Peripheral leukocytes Vascular cells Peripheral leukocytes
Normal control 6 3.848±0.933 0.940±0.181 16.988±3.191 0.874±0.386
Model 6 2.586±0.199* 0.514±0.058** 11.685±2.319* 1.026±0.283
Pravastatin 6 7.355±1.005△△** 2.374±0.344**△△ 15.400±1.782 2.203±0.614*△
Shoushen Granule 6 3.083±1.627 1.176±0.194△△ 17.034±1.973△△ 2.358±0.530**△△
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