Diabetic cardiomyopathy is characterized by an imbalance between myocyte death and regeneration mediated by the progressive loss of cardiac stem and progenitor cells (CSPCs) by apoptosis and necrosis due to the activation of oxidative stress with diabetes. In this study, we evaluated the beneficial effect of astragalus polysaccharides (APS) therapy on the protection of CSPCs through its antioxidative capacity in diabetic hearts.
Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and heterozygous (SOD2+/−) knockout mice were employed and administered with APS. Ventricular CSPCs were isolated for oxidative evaluation. The abundance, apoptosis and proliferation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, oxidative damage, and SOD2 protein levels and activities were evaluated in ventricular CSPCs.
We confirmed that APS increased the CSPC abundance, reduced the apoptosis of CSPCs, and enhanced the proliferation of CSPCs in both STZ-induced diabetic mice and nondiabetic SOD2+/− mice. In addition, therapy of APS enhanced SOD2 protein levels and enzyme activities, and inhibited ROS formation and oxidative damage of CSPCs from both STZ-induced diabetic mice and nondiabetic SOD2+/− mice.