The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of oxymatrine and matrine on integrated cardiac function in rats using pressure-volume loop analysis. A pressure-volume loop catheter was advanced into the left ventricle in anesthetized rats. Steady-state hemodynamic and load-independent parameters were recorded before and after oxymatrine or matrine injection. Oxymatrine (200 mg/kg) and matrine (50, 100 mg/kg) significantly increased the preload recruitable stroke work, slope of maximal systolic pressure increase (dP/dtmax) - end-diastolic volume relationship, end-systolic elastance and volume axis intercept (V0), which are load-independent parameters. Furthermore, the observed increased cardiac efficiency, along with the decreased ventricular arterial coupling, pressure volume area and potential energy, reflect improved mechanoenergetics in oxymatrine (200 mg/kg) and matrine (25, 50 or 100 mg/kg) treated rats respectively. In addition, matrine (25, 50 mg/kg) decreased end-systolic volume and end-diastolic volume, and increased ejection fraction; matrine at 100 mg/kg further decreased end-systolic volume, end-diastolic volume, stroke volume and stroke work, shortened the time constant of left ventricular pressure decay, and increased dP/dtmax, and heart rate. These results suggest that both oxymatrine and matrine enhance left ventricular contractility and improve cardiac mechanical function. As the dose of matrine was much lower than that of oxymatrine, the effect of matrine on myocardial contractility was stronger than that of oxymatrine.
Keywords: Contractility; Left ventricle; Matrine; Mechanoenergtics; Oxymatrine; Pressure-volume loop; Rat.
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