Asperosaponin VI protects cardiac myocytes from hypoxia-induced apoptosis via activation of the PI3K/Akt and CREB pathways

Chunmei Li, Jingwei Tian, Guisheng Li, Wanglin Jiang, Yanli Xing, Jian Hou, Haibo Zhu, Hong Xu, Guanbo Zhang, Zhifeng Liu, Zuguang Ye
European Journal of Pharmacology 2010 December 15, 649 (1-3): 100-7
Cardiomyocyte apoptosis plays a critical role in the progress of heart diseases. Asperosaponin VI (ASA VI), a triterpene saponin isolated from Dipsacus asper Wall, has shown cardioprotective effects in vivo. However, whether ASA VI has a protective effect against cardiomyocyte apoptosis is poorly understood. The present study was aimed to investigate the cardioprotective role of ASA VI and the underlying mechanisms in hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxic condition for 6 h and then cell viability markedly decreased, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine phosphokinase (CK) activities in the culture supernatant significantly increased. Hypoxia-activated apoptosis were confirmed by Hoechst 33258 nuclear staining and Annexin V-FITC staining. These changes were associated with the decrease of the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, active caspase-3 expression, phosphorylations of Akt and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Moreover, ASA VI significantly attenuated increased LDH and CK activities, and increased cell viability in hypoxia treated myocytes in a dose-dependent fashion. Hoechst 33258 nuclear staining and Annexin V-FITC staining observations demonstrated the same protective effects. ASA VI treatment inhibited apoptosis in hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte by increasing the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and decreasing active caspase-3 expression, as well as enhancing of p-Akt and p-CREB. Furthermore, the protective effects of ASA VI were prevented by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 treatment. In consequence, we demonstrated that ASA VI had protective effect against hypoxia-induced cardiomyocytes apoptosis probably by activating the PI3K/Akt and CREB pathways.

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