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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (9): 1009-1017.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120910

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Effects of extracts of Radix Scrophulariae on blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats and the underlying mechanisms

Chan Chen1(), Chang-xun Chen1, Xi-min Wu2, Rui Wang2, Yi-ming Li2   

  1. 1. Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    2. Department of Natural Product Chemistry, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2012-02-09 Accepted:2012-02-28 Online:2012-09-20 Published:2018-10-15
  • Contact: Chan Chen

Objective: To explore the effects of extracts of Radix Scrophulariae (ERS) on blood pressure, vasoconstrictors and morphology of artery in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).

Methods: Fifty SHRs were randomly divided into SHR, SHR plus 40 mg/kg of captopril, SHR plus 70 mg/kg of ERS, SHR plus 140 mg/kg of ERS and SHR plus 280 mg/kg of ERS groups. Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were randomly divided into two groups, namely, WKY and WKY plus 140 mg/kg of ERS groups. The rats were orally administered with the corresponding drugs or drinking water once a day for 20 weeks. The blood pressure was determined every three weeks. At the 21st week, the concentrations of noradrenaline (NA), angiotensin Ⅱ (AngⅡ), thromboxane B2 (TXB2) and 6-keto-prostaglandin F in serum and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The morphological changes in abdominal aorta were observed under an optical microscope with hematoxylin and eosin staining. The ratio of intima-media thickness/lumen radius of abdominal aorta was calculated.

Results: ERS significantly lowered the blood pressure of SHRs from the 3rd to the 21st week; ERS also reduced the levels of NA, AngⅡ, ET-1 and TXB2, decreased the intima-media thickness of abdominal aortal wall and improved the morphological changes in abdominal aorta in SHRs. In addition, ERS did not significantly change blood pressure and vasoactive substances in WKY rats.

Conclusion: ERS possesses beneficial effects in inhibiting hypertension and attenuating arteriosclerosis. The underlying mechanism may be associated with restraining the release of vasoconstrictors, such as NA, AngⅡ, ET-1 and TXB2.

Key words: plant extracts, hypertension, antihypertensive agents, endothelin 1, angiotensin Ⅱ, thromboxane A2, arachidonic acids, rats, inbred SHR

Figure 1

The trend of systolic blood pressure of each group during 21 weeks"

Table 1

Effects of ERS on systolic blood pressure in SHRs ($\overline{x}$±s)"

Group Dose (mg/kg) n Systolic blood pressure (mmHg)
Before administration 3 weeks 6 weeks 9 weeks
WKY 10 156.0±12.2 148.3±14.2 147.4±16.1 149.5±8.7
SHR 10 177.7±6.4** 186.5±7.2** 188.8±8.5** 195.9±5.0**
Captopril 40 10 178.2±8.2 171.0±12.2△△ 170.8±9.4△△ 166.2±11.7△△
SHR plus low-dose ERS 70 10 180.4±7.1 180.0±8.4 172.5±13.0△△ 172.2±17.7△△
SHR plus medium-dose ERS 140 10 178.3±10.5 174.4±10.8△△ 162.1±14.6△△ 169.6±8.4△△
SHR plus high-dose ERS 280 10 179.0±7.2 176.4±5.4△△ 165.5±7.9△△ 165.1±17.5△△
Group Dose (mg/kg) n Systolic blood pressure (mmHg)
12 weeks 15 weeks 18 weeks 21 weeks
WKY 10 148.8±16.1 161.7±7.5 162.9±13.7 160.5±11.3
SHR 10 196.8±5.5** 197.6±3.4** 197.5±6.8** 191.6±15.3**
Captopril 40 10 156.0±29.8△△ 173.0±17.7△△ 176.2±11.3△△ 177.8±6.0
Low-dose ERS 70 10 159.9±23.0△△ 177.5±11.8△△ 175.1±16.5△△ 178.0±10.3
Medium-dose ERS 140 10 163.5±21.4△△ 166.4±15.1△△ 174.8±10.9△△ 173.3±18.9
High-dose ERS 280 10 154.7±24.2△△ 168.1±21.5△△ 172.5±15.1△△ 172.2±12.6△△

Table 2

Effects of ERS on serum TXB2 and 6-keto-PGF1α contents and ratio of TXB2/6-keto-PGF1α in SHRs and WKY rats ($\overline{x}$±s)"

Group Dose (mg/kg) n TXB2 (ng/L) 6-keto-PGF (mg/L) TXB2/6-keto-PGF (×10–6)
WKY 7 295.42±37.83 24.14±19.40 16.79±8.72
WKY plus ERS 140 7 340.74±48.62 17.15±15.77 29.45±14.71
SHR 7 376.17±63.82* 49.70±32.68 10.24±6.32
SHR plus captopril 40 7 309.42±47.18 33.68±18.11 11.70±6.05
SHR plus ERS 70 7 362.31±43.33 39.75±21.16 10.91±4.12
SHR plus ERS 140 7 294.52±38.98 53.91±20.09 5.94±1.70
SHR plus ERS 280 7 279.63±30.43△△ 41.77±22.02 9.08±6.02

Table 3

Effects of ERS on serum NA and AngⅡ and ET-1 contents in SHRs and WKY rats ($\overline{x}$±s)"

Group Dose (mg/kg) n NA (μg/L) AngⅡ (μg/L) ET-1 (ng/L)
WKY 7 1.227±1.281 2.13±1.37 7.61±1.75
WKY plus ERS 140 7 0.413±0.177 1.73±0.32 7.59±2.85
SHR 7 3.025±1.699* 5.71±2.54** 16.91±7.51*
SHR plus captopril 40 7 0.659±0.292△△ 3.14±0.91 9.87±1.53
SHR plus ERS 70 7 0.651±0.190△△ 5.70±2.80 15.95±8.87
SHR plus ERS 140 7 0.567±0.302△△ 5.31±1.46 13.60±6.38
SHR plus ERS 280 7 1.403±0.971 3.27±1.39 9.75±2.59

Figure 2

Effects of ERS on morphological changes in abdominal aorta in SHRs and WKY rats (Hematoxylin-eosin staining, light microscopy, ×40) A: WKY group; B: WKY plus 140 mg/kg ERS group; C: SHR group; D: SHR plus captopril group; E: SHR plus 70 mg/kg of ERS group; F: SHR plus 140 mg/kg of ERS group; G: SHR plus 280 mg/kg of ERS group. WKY: Wistar Kyoto; SHR: spontaneously hypertensive rat; ERS: extracts of Radix Scrophulariae."

Figure 3

Effects of ERS on morphological changes in intima-media structure of abdominal aorta in SHRs and WKY rats (Hematoxylin-eosin staining, light microscopy, ×200) A: WKY group; B: WKY plus 140 mg/kg of ERS group; C: SHR group; D: SHR plus captopril group; E: SHR plus 70 mg/kg of ERS group; F: SHR plus 140 mg/kg of ERS group; G: SHR plus 280 mg/kg of ERS group. WKY: Wistar Kyoto; SHR: spontaneously hypertensive rat; ERS: extracts of Radix Scrophulariae."

Figure 4

Effects of ERS on ratio of intima-media thickness/lumen radius of abdominal aorta in SHRs and WKY rats*P<0.05, vs WKY group; △P<0.05, vs SHR group. WKY: Wistar Kyoto; SHR: spontaneously hypertensive rat; ERS: extracts of Radix Scrophulariae; IMT: intima-media thickness; LR: lumen radius. Data are expressed as $\overline{x}$±s; n=8."

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