Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Resources Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ministry of Education, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
Reperfusion therapy is widely utilized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but further injury induced by rapidly initiating reperfusion of the heart is often encountered in clinical practice. Ginsenoside RK3 (RK3) is reportedly present in the processed Radix notoginseng that is often used as a major ingredient of the compound preparation for ischemic heart diseases. This study aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of RK3 against hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) induced H9c2 cardiomyocytes damage and its underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that RK3 pretreatment caused increased cell viability and decreased levels of LDH leakage compared with the H/R group. Moreover, RK3 pretreatment inhibited cell apoptosis, as evidenced by decreased caspase-3 activity, TUNEL-positive cells, and Bax expression, as well as increased Bcl-2 level. Further mechanism investigation revealed that RK3 prevented H9c2 cardiomyocytes injury and apoptosis induced by H/R via AKT/Nrf-2/HO-1 and MAPK pathways. These observations indicate that RK3 has the potential to exert cardioprotective effects against H/R injury, which might be of great importance to clinical efficacy for AMI treatment.