Therapeutic potentials and mechanisms of the Chinese traditional medicine Danshensu

Eur J Pharmacol. 2019 Dec 1;864:172710. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172710. Epub 2019 Oct 2.


Danshensu is a pure molecule derived from Danshen, which is the root of the herb Salvia miltiorrhiza. It has a clearly defined chemical structure and demonstrates therapeutic effects in cardiovascular diseases (e.g., myocardial ischemia and reperfusion, atherosclerosis, hypertension), cerebral lesions and disorders (e.g., ischemia, cognitive decline, and anxiety), and other health problems (e.g., thrombosis, tumorigenesis, pancreatitis). The mechanisms behind these effects include antioxidation, anti-apoptosis, vasodilation, inflammation regulation, lipidemia control, etc., through the PI3K/Akt-ERK1/2/Nrf2/HO-1, Bcl-2/Bax, eNOS and other molecular signaling pathways. Both Danshen and Danshensu might be more effective than classical cardiovascular drugs, and their combination yields improved therapeutic efficiency. Here, we provide an overview of these drugs for a better understanding of Danshensu as a promising Chinese traditional medicine.

Keywords: Anti-apoptosis; Anti-oxidiation; Cardiovascular disease; Chinese traditional medicine; Dashensu.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lactates / pharmacology*
  • Lactates / therapeutic use
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*


  • Lactates
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid