Moutan cortex extract exerts protective effects in a rat model of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2016 Mar;94(3):245-50. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2015-0168. Epub 2015 Aug 7.


Moutan cortex (MC) is a traditional Chinese medicine with diverse biological effects. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of MC on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in rats and to explore its possible mechanisms. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered MC extract (1.98 g/kg, i.g.) for 14 days and underwent a subsequent open-chest procedure involving 30 min of myocardial ischemia and 60 min of reperfusion. The cardioprotective effect of MC was demonstrated by reduced infarct size and marked improvement in the histopathological examination. The increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) as well as the reduction of malondialdehyde (MDA) indicated that MC effectively promoted the anti-oxidative defense system. Increased anti-oxidative defense was accompanied by decreased release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK). The reduction in TUNEL-positive myocytes demonstrated that MC decreased myocardial apoptosis. The mRNA expression of B cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2) was upregulated by MC and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) mRNA expression was increased. MC pretreatment decreased the mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The data from this study suggest that MC exerted protective effects on acute myocardial I/R injury via anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic activities.

Keywords: Moutan cortex; anti-apoptose; anti-apoptotic; anti-oxidative; antioxydant; cardioprotecteur; cardioprotective; cortex Moutan; ischemia/reperfusion; ischémie/reperfusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Creatine Kinase / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Paeonia
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • moutan cortex
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Glutathione