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Leech extract: A candidate cardioprotective against hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis.

Authors
  • Wang, Chien-Hao1
  • Pandey, Sudhir2
  • Sivalingam, Kalaiselvi3
  • Shibu, Marthandam Asokan3
  • Kuo, Wei-Wen4
  • Yu-LanYeh,5
  • Viswanadha, Vijaya Padma6
  • Lin, Yuan-Chuan7
  • Liao, Shih-Chieh8
  • Huang, Chih-Yang9
  • 1 Department of Chinese Medicine, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan; Integration Center of Traditional Chinese and Modern Medicine, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan. , (Taiwan)
  • 2 Graduate Institute of Biomedical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Related Disease Research Center, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan. , (China)
  • 3 Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Related Disease Research Center, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan. , (Taiwan)
  • 4 Department of Biological Science and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. , (China)
  • 5 Department of Pathology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan; Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Miaoli, Taiwan. , (Taiwan)
  • 6 Department of Biotechnology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India. , (India)
  • 7 Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. , (China)
  • 8 School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
  • 9 Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Related Disease Research Center, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan; Center of General Education, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology, Hualien, Taiwan; Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of ethnopharmacology
Publication Date
Sep 04, 2020
Volume
264
Pages
113346–113346
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113346
PMID: 32896627
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has been increasing worldwide. Despite significant improvements in therapeutics and on-going developments of novel targeted-treatment regimens, cardiac diseases lack effective preventive and curative therapies with minimal side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify and propagate alternative and complementary therapies against cardiovascular diseases. Some traditional Chinese medicines can contribute to the prevention and treatment of CVDs and other chronic diseases, with few side effects. Hirudo, a medicinal leech, has been acclaimed for improving blood circulation and overcoming blood stagnation; however, the precise molecular mechanisms of leech extract treatment against pathological cardiac remodeling remain elusive. In this study, we aimed to delineate the molecular mechanisms of medicinal leech extract in the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, using both in vitro and in vivo assessments. We conducted in vitro and in vivo animal experiments, including cell-viability assays, fluorescence microscopy, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and Masson's trichrome staining. Pre-treatment with leech extract conferred a survival benefit to spontaneously-hypertensive rats (SHRs) and significantly reduced angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. ANG II-stimulated cardiac hypertrophy markers were attenuated by leech extract treatment, versus controls. Translational expression of stress-associated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) was also repressed. In vivo, leech extract treatment significantly ameliorated the cardiac hypertrophy phenotype in SHRs and diminished interstitial fibrosis, accompanied with reduced fibrosis markers. Leech extract treatment under a hypertensive condition exerted significant cardio-protective benefits by reducing the expression of cardiac hypertrophy-related transcription factors, stress-associated MAPKs, and fibrosis mediators. Our findings imply that medicinal leach extract may be effective against hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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