Abstract Title:

Cardioprotective Function of Green Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Extract Supplementation in Ex Vivo Ischemic Prediabetic Rat Hearts.

Abstract Source:

Planta Med. 2020 Dec 7. Epub 2020 Dec 7. PMID: 33285593

Abstract Author(s):

Sybrand Engelbrecht Smit, Claudine Manirafasha, Erna Marais, Rabia Johnson, Barbara Huisamen

Article Affiliation:

Sybrand Engelbrecht Smit


Diabetic patients develop ischemic heart disease and strokes more readily. Following an ischemic event, restoration of blood flow increases oxidative stress resulting in myocardial damage, termed ischemia/reperfusion injury. Aspalathus linearis (rooibos), rich in the antioxidant phenolic compound aspalathin, has been implicated as cardioprotective against ischemia/reperfusion injury with undefined mechanism in control rats. Primarily, the therapeutic potential of Afriplex green rooibos extract to prevent ischemia/reperfusion injury in cardiovascular disease-compromised rats was investigated. Additionally, Afriplex Green rooibos extract's cardioprotective signaling on metabolic markers and stress markers was determined using western blotting. Three hundred male Wistar rats received either 16-wk standard diet or high-caloric diet. During the final 6 wk, half received 60 mg/kg/day Afriplex green rooibos extract, containing 12.48% aspalathin. High-caloric diet increased body weight, body fat, fasting serum triglycerides, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance - indicative of prediabetes. High-caloric diet rats had increased heart mass, infarct size, and decreased heart function. Afriplex green rooibos extract treatment for 6 wk lowered pre-ischemic heart rate, reduced infarct size, and improved heart function pre- and post-ischemia, without significantly affecting biometric parameters. Stabilized high-caloric diet hearts had decreased insulin independence via adenosine monophosphate activated kinase and increased inflammation (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase), whereas Afriplex green rooibos extract treatment decreased insulin dependence (protein kinase B) and conferred anti-inflammatory effect. After 20 min ischemia, high-caloric diet hearts had upregulated ataxia-telangiectasia mutated kinase decreased insulin independence, and downregulated insulin dependence and glycogen synthase kinase 3inhibition. In contrast, Afriplex green rooibos extract supplementation downregulated insulin independence and inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2. During reperfusion, all protective signaling was decreased in high-caloric diet, while Afriplex green rooibos extract supplementation reduced oxidative stress (c-Jun N-terminal kinases 1 and 2) and inflammation. Taken together, Afriplex green rooibos extract supplementation for 6 wk preconditioned cardiovascular disease-compromised rat hearts against ischemia/reperfusion injury by lowering inflammation, oxidative stress, and heart rate.

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