Thymoquinone protects against cardiac mitochondrial DNA loss, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats.
Heliyon. 2021 Jul ;7(7):e07561. Epub 2021 Jul 14. PMID: 34355083
Asmaa A Khalifa
Introduction: Myocardial infarction (MI) is an ischemic life-threatening disease with exaggerated oxidative stress state that vigorously damages the cardiomyocyte membrane and subcellular structures, including the vital mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The mtDNA is responsible for the proper functionality of the mitochondria, which are abundant in cardiomyocytes due to their dynamic nature and energy production requirements. Furthermore, oxidative stress triggers an inflammatory cascade and eventual apoptosis, which exacerbates cardiac injuries and dysfunction.
Aim: The present study used an isoproterenol (ISP)-induced MI rat model to investigate the role of the main active constituent of Nigella Sativa seeds, thymoquinone (TQ), in preserving the cardiac mtDNA content and ameliorating oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis.
Methods: Rats in the (TQ + ISP) group were pre-treated with TQ (20 mg/kg/day) for 21 days before the MI induction using ISP (85 mg/kg/day). In addition, negative control and ISP groups were included in the study for comparison. A histopathological examination was performed and serum cardiac parameters (cTnI and LDH) were assessed. In addition, mtDNA content, oxidative stress parameters (MDA, GSH, SOD, GPx, and CAT), inflammatory mediators (IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α), and apoptosis markers (BAX, Bcl2, and caspase-3) were detected.
Results: The results showed that pre- and co-treatment with TQ in the (TQ + ISP) group reversed the histoarchitecture changes, caused a significant decrease in serum cardiac markers, oxidative stress markers, inflammatory cytokines, the apoptosis process, and preserved the cardiac mtDNA content.
Conclusion: TQ is a cardioprotective agent with an extended effect on preserving the cardiac mtDNA content, in addition to its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic action.