Coronary microembolization (CME) can cause myocardial inflammation, apoptosis and progressive cardiac dysfunction. On the other hand, breviscapine exerts a significant cardioprotective effect in many cardiac diseases although its role and the potential mechanisms in CME remain unclear. Therefore, the present study aimed to ascertain whether pretreatment with breviscapine could improve CME-induced myocardial injury by alleviating myocardial inflammation and apoptosis. The possible underlying mechanisms were also explored.
In this study, 48 Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly assigned to the CME, CME + breviscapine (CME + BE), CME + breviscapine + LY294002 (CME + BE + LY) and sham groups (12 rats per group). In addition, the CME model was successfully established by injecting 42 μm inert plastic microspheres into the left ventricle of rats. Rats in the CME + BE and CME + BE + LY groups received 40 mg/kg/d of breviscapine for 7 days before inducing CME. Moreover, rats in the CME + BE + LY group were intraperitoneally injected with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) specific inhibitor, LY294002 (10 mg/kg) 30 minutes before CME modeling. 12 h after surgery, the study measured cardiac function, the serum levels of markers of myocardial injury, myocardial inflammation-associated mRNAs and proteins, myocardial apoptosis-associated mRNAs and proteins and conducted myocardial histopathology.
The findings demonstrated that pretreatment with breviscapine alleviated myocardial injury following CME by improving cardiac dysfunction, decreasing the serum levels of markers of myocardial injury, reducing the size of myocardial microinfarct and lowering the cardiomyocyte apoptotic index. More importantly, pretreatment with breviscapine resulted to a decrease in the levels of inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mRNAs and proteins in myocardial tissues and there was an increase in the levels of anti-apoptotic mRNAs and proteins. However, these protective effects were eliminated when breviscapine was combined with LY294002.