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Mol Biol Rep. 2011 Oct;38(7):4327-35. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0558-4. Epub 2010 Nov 27.

Protective effect of ginsenoside Rb1 against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Ziyang Road 99, Wuhan 430060, Hubei, China.


The objective of the current study is to investigate whether ginsenoside Rb1, a major pharmacological extract of ginseng that could attenuate myocardial ischemia reperfusion (MI/R) injury in non-diabetic myocardium, can attenuate MI/R injury in diabetes that are more vulnerable to ischemic insult. Rats were divided into seven groups: (i) diabetic sham, (ii) diabetic, (iii) normal, (iv) diabetic + ginsenoside Rb1, (v) diabetic + wortmannin, (vi) diabetic + wortmannin + ginsenoside Rb1, (vii) diabetic sham + wortmannin. Ginsenoside Rb1 and/or wortmannin were administered prior to inducing MI/R (30 min of coronary artery occlusion followed by 120 min reperfusion). At the end of the experiment, postischemic myocardial infarct size was significantly higher in the diabetic untreated group as compared to normal (P < 0.05), accompanied with increased myocardial apoptosis, elevated plasma CK-MB and LDH release and reduced blood pressure. Ginsenoside Rb1 reduced infarct size, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and caspase-3 activity compared to the diabetic group. The cardioprotective effects of ginsenoside Rb1 were cancelled by wortmannin. Ginsenoside Rb1 significantly upregulated phosphorylated Akt expression, which was attenuated by wortmannin. Ginsenoside Rb1 exerts cardioprotective effects against MI/R injury in diabetic rats, which is partly through activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3 K)/Akt pathway. Thus this study shows a novel pharmacological preconditioning with ginsenoside Rb1 in the diabetic myocardium.

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