Si-Miao-Yong-An decoction attenuates cardiac fibrosis via suppressing TGF-β1 pathway and interfering with MMP-TIMPs expression

Congping Su, Qing Wang, Hui Luo, Wenchao Jiao, Jiayang Tang, Lin Li, Lei Tian, Xiangyang Chen, Bin Liu, Xue Yu, Sen Li, Shuzhen Guo, Wei Wang
Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy2020
Background: Myocardial fibrosis is an important pathological feature of pressure overload cardiac remodeling. Si-Miao-Yong-An decoction (SMYAD), a traditional Chinese formula, is now clinically used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. However, its mechanisms in the prevention of heart failure are not fully revealed. Purpose: To determine whether treatment with SMYAD for 4 weeks would lead to changes in collagen metabolism and ventricular remodeling in a mice model of heart failure. Methods: Mice were subjected to transverse aorta constriction to generate pressure overload induced cardiac remodeling and then were administered SMYAD (14.85 g/kg/day) or captopril (16.5 mg/kg/day) intragastrically for 4 weeks after surgery. Echocardiography and immunohistochemical examination were used to evaluate the effects of SMYAD. The mRNA of collagen metabolism biomarkers were detected. Protein expression of TGF-β1/Smad and TGF-β1/TAK1/p38 pathway were assessed by Western blot. Results: SMYAD significantly improved cardiac function, increased left ventricle ejection fraction, and decreased fibrosis area and αSMA expression. Moreover, SMYAD reduced proteins expression related to collagen metabolism, including Col1, Col3, TIMP2 and CTGF. The increased levels of TGF-β1, Smad2, and Smad3 phosphorylation were attenuated in SMYAD group. In addition, SMYAD reduced the levels of TGF-β1, p-TAK1 and p-p38 compared with TAC group. Conclusions: SMYAD improved cardiac fibrosis and heart failure by inhibition of TGF-β1/Smad and TGF-β1/TAK1/p38 pathway. SMYAD protected against cardiac fibrosis and maintained collagen metabolism balance by regulating MMP-TIMP expression. Taken together, these results indicate that SMYAD might be a promising therapeutic agent against cardiac fibrosis.
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