To study the effects of Yixintai pills on myocardial cell apoptosis in rats with adriamycin (ADR)-induced heart failure (HF) and the mechanism of action.
Sixty healthy male Wistar rats randomly were divided into Control, Model, Captopril, and Yixintai pill groups. A rat model of ADR-induced HF was constructed by intraperitoneal injection of ADR (2.5 mg/kg). The control group was given an equal volume of normal saline; the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups were given corresponding mediations (5 mg/kg) by lavage. After 4 weeks of treatment, fasting blood was collected to detect the contents of plasma rennin activity (PRA), angiotensin II (AngII), and aldosterone (ALD). B ultrasound was used to detect the heart structure, and the heart weight/body weight (HW/BW) ratio was calculated. The pathology of myocardial tissues was observed by HE staining. The apoptosis of myocardial cells was detected by TUNEL assay. The expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum were analyzed by ELISA, and the protein expression levels of protein kinase B (Akt), phosphorylated (p)-Akt, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and p-GSK-3β in myocardial tissues were measured by Western blotting.
Compared with the Control group, the PRA, AngII, ALD, left ventricular posterior wall thickness at end-systole (LVPWs), left ventricular posterior wall thickness at end-diastole (LVPWd), interventricular septal thickness at end-systole (IVSs), interventricular septal thickness at end-diastole (IVSd), HW/BW, TNF-α and IL-6 of model group increased significantly (P < .05). PRA, AngII, ALD, LVPWs, LVPWd, IVSs, IVSd, HW/BW, TNF-α and IL-6 of the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups were significantly lower than those of the Model group (P < .05). There were no significant differences in the indices between the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups (P > .05). In the Model group, lamellar necrosis, vacuolar degeneration, increased myocardial fibers and lamellar dissolution of myocardial cells were found in myocardial tissues. However, the myocardial cells of the Control group were neatly arranged and clearly structured, and only a few ones underwent fibrosis. There were mild myocardial fibrosis and vacuolar degeneration in the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups, and the degeneration and hyperplasia of myocardial fibers were obviously relieved. Compared with the Control group, the apoptosis index (AI) of the Model group increased significantly (P < .05). The AI values of the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups were significantly lower than those of the Model group (P < .05). Compared with the Control group, the expression levels of p-Akt and p-GSK-3β in the Model group decreased significantly (P < .05). The expression levels of p-Akt and p-GSK-3β in the Yixintai pill and Captopril groups were significantly higher than those of the Model group (P < .05), whereas the former 2 groups had similar results (P > 0.05).
Yixintai pills may inhibit myocardial cell apoptosis and ventricular remodeling in rats by up-regulating PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β signal, thus protecting the heart function.

References

PubMed