Panax notoginseng saponins ameliorate impaired arterial vasodilation in SHRSP.Z-Lepr(fa) /lzmDmcr rats with metabolic syndrome.
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2016 Apr ;43(4):459-67. PMID: 26784885
Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) are major components of Panax notoginseng, a herb with established clinical efficacy against vascular diseases. SHRSP.Z-Lepr(fa) /IzmDmcr (SHRSP.ZF) rats, a new animal model for metabolic syndrome, display an impaired vasorelaxation response in aortas and mesenteric arteries that is mediated by nitric oxide (NO). This study investigated whether PNS and its components can ameliorate this vascular dysfunction in SHRSP.ZF rats. In an in vitro study, in the presence or absence of PNS and its components, vasodilation in response to nitroprusside was determined from myographs under isometric tension conditions in aortas and mesenteric arteries from male SHRSP.ZF rats at 18-20 weeks of age. In an in vivo study, PNS (30 mg/kg per day) was orally administered to SHRSP.ZF rats from 8 to 20 weeks of age. In vitro treatment with PNS and Ginsenoside Rb1 increased nitroprusside-induced relaxation of aortas and mesenteric arteries in SHRSP.ZF rats. The PNS-induced increase was not affected by a nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor or endothelium denudation. Relaxation in response to a cell-permeable cGMP analogue was increased by PNS, but cGMP accumulation by nitroprusside was not altered. In vivo treatment with PNS in SHRSP.ZF rats lowered blood pressure and increased relaxation and the expression of soluble guanylyl cyclase protein in arteries, without affecting metabolic abnormalities. These results indicate that PNS causes an increase in vasodilation in response to NO and a decrease in blood pressure, resulting in protection against vascular dysfunction in SHRSP.ZF rats. PNS might be beneficial in alleviating impaired vasodilation in metabolic syndrome.