The present study examined the effects of licorice on antioxidant defense, functional impairment, histopathology, and ultrastructural alterations in isoproterenol (ISP)-induced myocardial injury in rats. Myocardial necrosis was induced by two subcutaneous injection of ISP (85 mg/kg) at an interval of 24 h. Licorice was administered orally for 30 days in the doses of 100, 200, 400, or 800 mg/kg. ISP-treated rats showed impaired hemodynamics, left ventricular dysfunction, and caused depletion of antioxidants and marker enzymes along with lipid peroxidation from myocardium. ISP also induced histopathological and ultrastructural alterations in myocardium. Pretreatment with licorice prevented the depletion of endogenous antioxidants and myocyte injury marker enzymes, inhibited lipid peroxidation, and showed recovery of hemodynamic and ventricular functions. Licorice treatment also reduced myonecrosis, edema, and infiltration of inflammatory cells and showed preservation of subcellular and ultrastructural components. Our results demonstrate that licorice exerts cardioprotection by reducing oxidative stress, augmenting endogenous antioxidants, and restoring functional parameters as well as maintaining structural integrity.
Keywords: Hemodynamics; isoproterenol; myocardial infarction; myocardial necrosis; oxidative stress.
© The Author(s) 2012.