High salt (HS) intake is closely associated with the ignition and progression of hypertension. The mechanisms might be involved in endothelial dysfunction, nitric oxide deficiency, oxidative stress, and proinflammatory cytokines. Propolis is widely used as a natural antioxidant and is a well-known functional food for its biological activities, which includes anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, and liver detoxification. In this study, we successfully replicated a high-salt diet-induced hypertensive rat model. We found that in the long-term high-salt diet group, the myocardial function of the rats was altered and led to a significant decrease (around 49%) in heart function. However, doses of Chinese water-soluble propolis (WSP) were found directly proportional (11%, 60%, 91%, respectively) to the myocardial function improvement in hypertensive rats. The results from the blood circulation test and HE stains showed that propolis had protective effects on myocardial functions and blood vessels in hypertensive rats. Also, based on the results of WB and PCR, WSP effectively regulated Nox2 and Nox4 levels and was responsible for a decrease in ROS synthesis. Our findings demonstrate that Chinese WSP has a significant effect on the blood pressure of hypertensive rats and their cardiovascular functions that improved significantly. The improvement in the cardiovascular functions might be related to the process of anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and the improvements of the endothelial function in hypertensive rats.
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