Teucrium polium L. Improved Heart Function and Inhibited Myocardial Apoptosis in Isolated Rat Heart Following Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

J Pharmacopuncture. 2018 Sep;21(3):159-167. doi: 10.3831/KPI.2018.21.019. Epub 2018 Sep 30.


Objectives: Myocardial reperfusion is the only logical cure for ischemic heart disease. However, ischemic-reperfusion (I/R) injury is one of the underlying factors facilitating and accelerating the apoptosis in the myocardium. This study set to investigate the impact of Teucrium polium (TP) hydro-alcoholic extract on I/R induced apoptosis in the isolated rat heart.

Methods: Isolated rat hearts were classified into six groups. The control samples were subjected to 80 min of perfusion with Krebs-Henseleit bicarbonate (KHB) buffer; in control-ischemia group, after primary perfusion (20 min) the hearts were exposed to global ischemia (20 min) and reperfusion (40 min). Pretreated groups were perfused with 500 μM of vitamin C and various TP concentrations (0.5, 1, 2 mg/ml) for 20 min, and then the hearts were exposed to ischemia and reperfusion for 20 min and 40 min, respectively. Cardiodynamic parameters including rate pressure product (RPP), heart rate (HR), the maximum up/down rate of left ventricular pressure (±dp/dt), left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), and coronary artery flow (CF) were achieved from Lab Chart software data. The Bax and BCl-2 gene expressions were measured in heart samples.

Results: Hearts treated with TP extract and vit C represented a meaningful improvement in cardiac contractile function and CF. The overexpression of Bcl-2, downregulation of Bax, and improvement of apoptotic index (Bax/Bcl-2) were observed in pretreated TP extract and vit C hearts.

Conclusion: The TP extract was found to ameliorate the cardiac function in the reperfused myocardium. Also, it can hinder apoptotic pathways causing cardioprotection.

Keywords: Teucrium; apoptosis; heart; ischemia-reperfusion injury.