XinJiErKang (XJEK), a Chinese herbal formula, is identified as an effective preparation to treat coronary heart disease and myocarditis. The aim of the study is to investigate the anti-hypertensive effects of XJEK by oral administration and also to find out whether the drug has any role in oxidative stress and vascular endothelial function.
Clipping of the renal artery resulted in gradual elevation of the systolic blood pressure (SBP) which reached a plateau after 4 weeks of surgery. Treatment of hypertensive rats (20 mmHg higher than basic systolic blood pressure) with XJEK (6, 12, 24 g/kg/day) and fosinopril (15 mg/kg/day) respectively by intragastric administration started 4 weeks after surgery and continued for 4 weeks. The sham-operated (Sh-Op) controls received drinking water. BP was monitored weekly using tail-cuff apparatus. At the end of 8 wk, left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), rate of rise of left ventricular pressure (±dp/dtmax) were examined (PowerLab 8/30, AD Instruments, Australia). The myocardial hypertrophy index was expressed as heart weight/body weight (HW/BW), the histological changes were investigated by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Van Gieson (VG) stain. Endothelium-dependent relaxations due to acetylcholine were observed in isolated rat thoracic aortic ring preparation. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) content in serum, contents of hydroxyproline (Hyp) in the ventricular tissue were assayed by xanthin oxidase method, thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method, Griess method and alkaline hydrolysis method, respectively. Angiotensin II (Ang II) content in serum was detected by radioimmunoasssay method.
XJEK therapy potently improved cardiac function, inhibited myocardial hypertrophy, improved cardiac pathology change, decreased the myocardial cross-section area (CSA), collagen volume fraction (CVF) and perivascular circumferential collagen area (PVCA), reduced the content of Hyp in the left ventricular tissue, inhibited the decrease of SOD activity and increase of MDA, Ang II content in serum. Moreover, treatment with XJEK improved endothelial dysfunction (ED) manifested by promoting endothelial-dependent vasodilation of thoracic aortic rings and enhancing the NO activity in serum.
These findings suggest that administration of XJEK possess protective effects against 2K1C induced hypertension and cardiac remodeling in rats, preserve NO activity and endothelial function.