Pomegranate flower extract diminishes cardiac fibrosis in Zucker diabetic fatty rats: modulation of cardiac endothelin-1 and nuclear factor-kappaB pathways

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;46(6):856-62. doi: 10.1097/01.fjc.0000190489.85058.7e.


The diabetic heart shows increased fibrosis, which impairs cardiac function. Endothelin (ET)-1 and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) interactively regulate fibroblast growth. We have recently demonstrated that Punica granatum flower (PGF), a Unani anti-diabetic medicine, is a dual activator of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha and -gamma, and improves hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and fatty heart in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat, a genetic animal model of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Here, we demonstrated that six-week treatment with PGF extract (500 mg/kg, p.o.) in Zucker diabetic fatty rats reduced the ratios of van Gieson-stained interstitial collagen deposit area to total left ventricular area and perivascular collagen deposit areas to coronary artery media area in the heart. This was accompanied by suppression of overexpressed cardiac fibronectin and collagen I and III mRNAs. Punica granatum flower extract reduced the up-regulated cardiac mRNA expression of ET-1, ETA, inhibitor-kappaBbeta and c-jun, and normalized the down-regulated mRNA expression of inhibitor-kappaBalpha in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. In vitro, Punica granatum flower extract and its components oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, and gallic acid inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-kappaB activation in macrophages. Our findings indicate that Punica granatum flower extract diminishes cardiac fibrosis in Zucker diabetic fatty rats, at least in part, by modulating cardiac ET-1 and NF-kappaB signaling.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Endothelin-1 / genetics*
  • Fibrosis
  • Flowers
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Lythraceae*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Zucker


  • Endothelin-1
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts