Xin-Ji-Er-Kang (XJEK) as a herbal formula of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has shown the protective effects on myocardial function as well as renal function in mouse models of myocardial infarction.
We investigated the effects of XJEK on cardiovascular- and renal-function in a heart failure mouse model induced by high salt (HS) and the associated mechanisms.
For the purpose of assessing the effects of XJEK on a hypertensive heart failure model, mice were fed with 8% high salt diet. XJEK was administered by oral gavage for 8 weeks. Cardiovascular function parameters, renal function associated biomarkers and XJEK’s impact on renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activation were assessed. To determine the underlying mechanism, the calpain1/junctophilin-2 (JP2)/sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca ATPase (SERCA2a) pathway was further studied in AC16 cells after angiotensin II-challenge or after calpastatin small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection.
Mice on HS-diet exhibited hypertensive heart failure along with progressive kidney injury. Similar to fosinopril, XJEK ameliorated hypertension, cardiovascular-and renal- dysfunction in mice of HS-diet group. XJEK inhibited HS-induced activation of RAAS and reversed the abnormal expression pattern of calpain1and JP2 protein in heart tissues. XJEK significantly improved cell viability of angiotensin II-challenged AC16 cells. Moreover, XJEK’s impact on calpain1/JP2 pathway was partly diminished in AC16 cells transfected with calpastatin siRNA.
XJEK was found to exert cardiovascular- and renal protection in HS-diet induced heart failure mouse model. XJEK inhibited HS-diet induced RAAS activation by inhibiting the activity and expression of calpain1 and protected the junctional membrane complex (JMC) in cardiomyocytes.

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