Nutmeg-5, which consists of Myristica fragrans Houtt., Aucklandia lappa Decne., Inula helenium L., Fructus Choerospondiatis and Piper longum L., is an ancient and classic formula in traditional Mongolian medicine that is widely used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease. However, its material basis and pharmacological mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated.
The aim of this study was to explore the potential material basis and molecular mechanism of Nutmeg-5 in improving cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI).
The constituents of Nutmeg-5 absorbed into the blood were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). A mouse MI model was induced in male Kunming mice by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LDA) ligation. Echocardiography was performed to assess cardiac function. The protective effect of Nutmeg-5 and compound Danshen dripping pills as positive control medicine on post-MI cardiac remodeling was evaluated by tissue histology and determination of the serum protein levels of biomarkers of myocardial injury. RNA sequencing analysis of mouse left ventricle tissue was performed to explore the molecular mechanism of Nutmeg-5 in cardiac remodeling after MI.
A total of 27 constituents absorbed into blood were identified in rat plasma following gavage administration of Nutmeg-5 (0.54 g/kg) for 1 h. We found that ventricular remodeling after MI was significantly improved after Nutmeg-5 treatment in mice, which was demonstrated by decreased mortality, better cardiac function, decreased heart weight to body weight and heart weight to tibia length ratios, and attenuated cardiac fibrosis and myocardial injury. RNA sequencing revealed that the protective effect of Nutmeg-5 on cardiac remodeling after MI was associated with improved heart metabolism. Further study found that Nutmeg-5 treatment could preserve the ultrastructure of mitochondria and upregulate gene expression related to mitochondrial function and structure. HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor 1, alpha subunit) expression was significantly upregulated in the hearts of MI mice and significantly suppressed in the hearts of Nutmeg-5-treated mice. In addition, Nutmeg-5 treatment significantly activated the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha signaling pathway, which was inhibited in the hearts of MI mice.
Nutmeg-5 attenuates cardiac remodeling after MI by improving heart metabolism and preserving mitochondrial dysfunction by inhibiting HIF-1α expression in the mouse heart after MI.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.