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J Biomed Sci. 2017 Jun 15;24(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12929-017-0345-9.

Dl-3-n-butylphthalide protects the heart against ischemic injury and H9c2 cardiomyoblasts against oxidative stress: involvement of mitochondrial function and biogenesis.

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Department of Cardiology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050000, People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurology, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050000, China.
Department of Cardiology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050000, People's Republic of China.
Department of Cardiology, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100038, China.



Myocardial infarction (MI) is an acute and fatal condition that threatens human health. Dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) has been used for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Mitochondria may play a protective role in MI injury. However, there are few reports on the cardioprotective effect of NBP or the potential mitochondrial mechanism for the NBP-induced protection against cardiac ischemia injury. We investigated the therapeutic effects of NBP in an in vivo MI model and an in vitro oxidative stress model, as well as the potential mitochondrial mechanism.


This study comprised two different experiments. The aim of experiment 1 was to determine the protective effects of NBP on MI and the underlying mechanisms in vivo. In part 1, myocardial infarct size was measured by staining with 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazoliumchloride (TTC). Myocardial enzymes and mitochondrial enzymes were assayed. The aim of experiment 2 was to investigate the role of NBP in H2O2-induced myocardial ischemic injury in H9c2 cells and to determine the potential mechanism. In part 2, H9c2 cell viability was evaluated. ROS levels, mitochondrial morphology, and mitochondrial membrane potential of H9c2 cells were measured. ATP levels were evaluated using an assay kit; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the expressions of NRF-1 and TFAM, and mitochondrial biogenesis factors were determined.


NBP treatment significantly reduced the infarct ratio, as observed by TTC staining, decreased serum myocardial enzymes in MI, and restored heart mitochondrial enzymes (isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), and a-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (a-KGDH) activities after MI. Moreover, in in vitro studies, NBP significantly increased the viability of H9c2 cells in a dose-dependent manner, reduced cell apoptosis, protected mitochondrial functions, elevated the cellular ATP levels, and promoted H2O2-induced mitochondrial biogenesis in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts.


Collectively, the results from both the in vivo and in vitro experiments suggested that NBP exerted a cardioprotective effect on cardiac ischemic injury via the regulation of mitochondrial function and biogenesis.


Dl-3-n-butylphthalide; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Mitochondrial function; Myocardial infarction

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