BioScience Trends. 2014;8(4):217-226. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2014.01081)
Ferulic acid combined with astragaloside IV protects against vascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats.
Yin YH, Qi FH, Song ZH, Zhang B, Teng JL
Dysfunction of the endothelium is regarded as an important factor in the pathogenesis of vascular disease in diabetes mellitus (DM). Unfortunately, prevention of the progression of vascular complications of DM remains pessimistic. Ferulic acid and astragaloside IV, isolated from traditional Chinese medicine Angelica sinensis and Radix astragali respectively, exhibit potential cardio-protective and anti-hyperglycemic properties. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects and underlying mechanism of ferulic acid and astragaloside IV against vascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats. After the diabetic rat model was established using streptozotocin, sixty rats were divided into 6 groups (control, model, ferulic acid, astragaloside IV, ferulic acid + astragaloside IV, and metformin) and treated for 10 weeks. Blood samples were collected to measure levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbAlc), triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), low density lipoproteins (Ox-LDL), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and creatinine (Cr), nitric oxide (NO) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and abdominal aorta tissue samples were collected for observing histological morphology changes of endothelium and detecting gene and protein expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) P65, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). We found that ferulic acid combined with astragaloside IV was capable of improving the structure of the aortic endothelium wall, attenuating the increase of HbAlc, TG, TC, LDL-C and Ox-LDL, promoting the release of NO and eNOS, and inhibiting over-activation of MCP-1, TNF-α, and NF-κB P65, without damage to liver and kidney function. In conclusion, ferulic acid combined with astragaloside IV exhibited significant protective effects against vascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats through the NF-κB pathway involving decrease of Ox-LDL, increase of NO and eNOS, and activation of NF-κB P65, MCP-1 and TNF-α.