155. Herba Cistanches stimulates cellular glutathione redox cycling by reactive oxygen species generated from mitochondrial respiration in H9c2 cardiomyocytes.

Wong HS, Ko KM

Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear water bay, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Earlier findings demonstrated that pretreatment of Herba Cistanches [the dried whole plant of Cistanche deserticola Y.C. Ma (Orobanchaceae)], a "Yang-invigorating" Chinese tonic herb, stimulated the ATP-generation capacity (ATP-GC) in mitochondria isolated from rat heart ex vivo. The enhancement of mitochondrial ATP-GC by Herba Cistanches was associated with induction of glutathione antioxidant status and protection against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in rat hearts. This study investigated the relationship between enhancements in mitochondrial ATP-GC and glutathione antioxidant status in H9c2 cardiomyocytes using a semipurified fraction of Herba Cistanches (HCF1). HCF1 (10-300 ng/mL) was tested for its effects on mitochondrial ATP generation, glutathione antioxidant status and protection against oxidant injury in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and rat hearts.HCF1 at 30 ng/mL increased mitochondrial ATP-GC and ADP-stimulated state 3 respiration (by 50 and 100%, respectively) in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. The stimulation of mitochondrial respiration was associated with the induction of mitochondrial uncoupling (27%) and enhancement of cellular glutathione redox cycling as well as protection against hypoxia/reoxygenation (hypox/reoxy)-induced apoptosis (by 60%). While HCF1 treatment increased reactive oxygen species generation from mitochondrial respiration in H9c2 cardiomyocytes, pretreatment with antioxidants (DMTU) abrogated the HCF1-induced cellular responses and the associated cytoprotective effect. HCF1 pretreatment (1.14 and 3.41 mg/kg x 14) also protected against myocardial I/R injury in rats (by 13 and 32%), presumably mediated by the induction of glutathione antioxidant response. The long-term intake of HCF1 may offer a prospect for the prevention of ischemic heart disease.