92. Herba Cistanche Extract Enhances Mitochondrial ATP Generation in Rat Hearts and H9c2 Cells

Leung HY, Ko KM

Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China

To investigate the pharmacological basis of the Yang-invigorating action of Herbal Cistanche [the dried whole plant of Cistanche deserticola Y.C. Ma (Orobanchaceae)], in Chinese medicine, the effects of the methanol extract of Herba Cistanche on mitochondrial ATP generation capacity were examined using an ex vivo rat heart model and an in situ H9c2 cell assay. Treatment with Herba Cistanche extract increased the myocardial mitochondrial ATP generation capacity in a dose-dependent manner in rats, as assessed by in vitro measurement. The stimulation of ATP generation capacity was associated with a parallel enhancement in mitochondrial electron transport supported by pyruvate but not succinate. Herba Cistanche treatment also increased the myocardial mitochondrial complex I and complex III activities, with the extent of stimulation on complex I activity being larger. Herba Cistanche treatment produced a dose-and time-dependent increase in mitochondrial ATP generation capacity in H9c2 cells. The results indicate that Herba Cistanche treatment can increase mitochondrial ATP generation in rat hearts ex vivo and H9c2 cells in situ, possibly through enhancing the oxidative phosphorylation.

Keywords: ATP; Cistanche deserticola; H9c2 cells; heart; mitochondria