The prevention and treatment of Microwave-caused cardiovascular injury remains elusive. This study investigated the cardiovascular protective effects of compound Chinese medicine “Kang Fu Ling” (KFL) against high power microwave (HPM)-induced myocardial injury and the role of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening in KFL protection.
Male Wistar rats (100) were divided into 5 equal groups: no treatment, radiation only, or radiation followed by treatment with KFL at 0.75, 1.5, or 3 g/kg/day. Electrocardiography was used to Electrophysiological examination. Histological and ultrastructural changes in heart tissue and isolated mitochondria were observed by light microscope and electron microscopy. mPTP opening and mitochondrial membrane potential were detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy and fluorescence analysis. Connexin-43 (Cx-43) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were detected by immunohistochemistry. The expression of voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) was detected by western blotting.
At 7 days after radiation, rats without KFL treatment showed a significantly lower heart rate (P<0.01) than untreated controls and a J point shift. Myocyte swelling and rearrangement were evident. Mitochondria exhibited rupture, and decreased fluorescence intensity, suggesting opening of mPTP and a consequent reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential. After treatment with 1.5 g/kg/day KFL for 7 d, the heart rate increased significantly (P<0.01), and the J point shift was reduced flavorfully (P<0.05) compared to untreated, irradiated rats; myocytes and mitochondria were of normal morphology. The fluorescence intensities of dye-treated mitochondria were also increased, suggesting inhibition of mPTP opening and preservation of the mitochondrial membrane potential. The microwave-induced decrease of Cx-43 and VDAC protein expression was significantly reversed.
Microwave radiation can cause electrophysiological, histological and ultrastructural changes in the heart. KFL at 1.5 g/kg/day had the greatest protective effect on these cardiovascular events. mPTP plays an important role in the protective effects of KFL against microwave-radiation-induced myocardial injury.