Asiatic acid inhibits left ventricular remodeling and improves cardiac function in a rat model of myocardial infarction.
Exp Ther Med. 2016 Jan ;11(1):57-64. Epub 2015 Nov 17. PMID: 26889217
Left ventricular remodeling results in cardiac dysfunction and accounts for the majority of the morbidity and mortality following myocardial infarction (MI). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of asiatic acid (AA) on cardiac function and left ventricular remodeling in a rat model of MI and explore the underlying mechanisms. Rats were subjected to coronary artery ligation to model MI and orally treated with AA. After 4 weeks, cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography. Cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area was recorded, and the expression levels of a number of inflammatory cytokines were detected using ELISA. The degree of interstitial fibrosis was determined by evaluating the mRNA expression levels of collagen II and III. Western blot analysis was performed to detect the expression levels of total and phosphorylated p38 MAPK and ERK1/2, to investigate whether they are involved in the mechanism underlying the effect of AA on the heart. Rats subjected to MI displayed significantly impaired cardiac function compared with those subjected to a sham procedure, while this change was reversed by treatment with AA. Furthermore, AA markedly inhibited cardiac hypertrophy, reduced the mRNA expression levels of inflammatory cytokines and decreased interstitial fibrosis in the infarct border zone of MI model rats compared with those in vehicle-treated MI model rats. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 was blocked by AA in the MI rats but not in the sham rats. In summary, AA treatment preserved cardiac function and inhibited left ventricular remodeling, potentially by blocking the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 in the infarct border zone of the ischemic myocardium, indicating that AA may be a novel candidate for development as a therapy for MI.