Planta Med 2006; 72(1): 4-8
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-873126
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Astragaloside IV from Astragalus membranaceus Shows Cardioprotection during Myocardial Ischemia in vivo and in vitro

Wei-Dong Zhang1 , 3 [*] , Hong Chen2 [*] , Chuan Zhang1 , Run-Hui Liu1 , Hui-Liang Li1 , Hong-Zhuan Chen2
  • 1Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. China
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. China
  • 3School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China
Further Information

Publication History

Received: March 28, 2005

Accepted: May 27, 2005

Publication Date:
14 October 2005 (online)


Astragaloside IV is the major active constituent of Astragalus membranaceus, which has been widely used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. However, the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial ischemia and its mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. In this study, we have examined the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial infarction and coronary flow in vivo and in vitro. The possible roles of its antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties were also explored. Astragaloside IV significantly reduced infarct size in dogs subjected to coronary ligation in vivo. Astragaloside IV also improved post-ischemic heart function and ameliorated reperfusion arrhythmias in rat hearts in vitro. The cardioprotection of astragaloside IV was accompanied by a significant increase in coronary flow both in vivo and in vitro. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, Nω -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester partially abrogated astragaloside IV’s protective effect on heart function. Myocardial antioxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase activity increased with astragaloside IV administration. These data suggest the potential roles of antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties of astragaloside IV in its protection from myocardial ischemia.


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1 The first two authors contribute equally to the work of this paper

Wei-Dong Zhang

Second Military Medical University

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