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Life Sci. 2004 Feb 27;74(15):1945-55.

Crataegus special extract WS 1442 improves cardiac function and reduces infarct size in a rat model of prolonged coronary ischemia and reperfusion.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga, Latvia.


In Germany, hydroalcoholic extracts from hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) leaves with flowers are approved drugs for the treatment of mild forms of heart insufficiency. Besides cardiotonic effects these herbal remedies have been shown to possess cardioprotective properties. We now evaluated if treatment of rats with the Crataegus special extract WS 1442 also improves cardiac function and prevents myocardial infarction during prolonged ischemia and reperfusion lasting for 240 and 15 min, respectively. Oral administration of WS 1442 (10 or 100 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) for 7 days before ligation of the left coronary artery dose-dependently suppressed the decrease of the pressure rate product. WS 1442 treatment also attenuated the elevation of the ST-segment in the ECG, diminished the incidence of ventricular fibrillations (control: 67%; 10 mg x kg(-1): 64%; 100 mg x kg(-1): 27%) and reduced the mortality rate (control: 47%; 10 27%; 100 mg x kg(-1): 9%). Furthermore, the area of myocardial infarction within the ischemic zone was significantly smaller in treated rats (10 mg x kg(-1): 64.3 +/- 5.1%; 100 mg x kg(-1): 42.8 +/- 4.1%) when compared with controls (78.4 +/- 2.6%). It is suggested that these pharmacological effects are accounted for by the combined antioxidative, leukocyte elastase inhibiting and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthesis enhancing properties of WS 1442.

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