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Phytomedicine. 2012 Jun 15;19(8-9):699-706. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 May 22.

Crataegus special extract WS(®)1442 prevents aging-related endothelial dysfunction.

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CNRS UMR 7213, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.


Aging is associated with a markedly increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases due, in part, to the development of vascular endothelial dysfunction. The present study has evaluated whether the Crataegus special extract WS(®)1442 prevents the development of aging-related endothelial dysfunction in rats, and, if so, to determine the underlying mechanisms. Wistar rats received either a control diet or the same diet containing 100 or 300 mg/kg/day of WS(®)1442 from week 25 until week 65. Vascular reactivity was assessed in mesenteric artery rings using organ chambers, oxidative stress by dihydroethidine staining and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and -2 (COX-2) expression by immunohistochemistry. Acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxations in mesenteric artery rings were blunted in 65-week-old rats compared to 16-week-old rats. This effect was associated with a marked reduction of the endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) component whereas the nitric oxide (NO) component was not affected. Aging was also associated with the induction of endothelium-dependent contractile responses to acetylcholine. Both aging-related impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations and the induction of endothelium-dependent contractile responses were improved by the Crataegus treatment and by COX inhibitors. An excessive vascular oxidative stress and an upregulation of COX-1 and COX-2 were observed in the mesenteric artery of old rats compared to young rats, and these effects were improved by the Crataegus treatment. In conclusion, chronic intake of Crataegus prevented aging-related endothelial dysfunction by reducing the prostanoid-mediated contractile responses, most likely by improving the increased oxidative stress and the overexpression of COX-1 and COX-2.

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