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Open Access Research article

The protective effects of ginsenoside Rg1 against hypertension target-organ damage in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Hui Chen12, Jun Yin2, Yanpin Deng1, Min Yang1, Lingling Xu1, Fukang Teng12, Defang Li1, Yufan Cheng3, Sha Liu4, Dong Wang2, Tingting Zhang12, Wanying Wu1, Xuan Liu1, Shuhong Guan1, Baohong Jiang1* and Dean Guo1*

Author Affiliations

1 Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Haike Road #501, Shanghai, 201203, China

2 Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Wenhua Road #103, Shenyang, 110016, China

3 Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Dongan Road #270, Shanghai, 200023, China

4 School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Dongfang Road #1630, Shanghai, 200127, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:53  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-53

Published: 25 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Although a number of medicines are available for the management of hypertension, the organ damage induced by hypertension is not resolved. The aim of this study was to investigate the protection of ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) against vascular remodeling and organ damage in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).

Methods

Male SHR were treated with 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg Rg1 through intraperitoneal injection per day for 1 month. SHR or Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) receiving vehicle (saline) was used as control. Blood pressure detection and pathological stain, transmission electron microscope, immunohistochemical assay were used to elucidate the protection of Rg1.

Results

Blood pressures were not different between control SHR rats and Rg1 treated SHR rats, but Rg1 improved the aortic outward remodeling by lowering the lumen diameter and reducing the media thickness according the histopathological and ultrastructural detections. Rg1 also protected the retinal vessels against inward remodeling detected by immunohistochemical assay. Furthermore, Rg1 attenuated the target heart and kidney damage with improvement on cardiac and glomerular structure.

Conclusions

These results suggested that Rg1 held beneficial effects on vascular structure and further protected against the organ-damage induced by hypertension. These findings also paved a novel and promising approach to the treatment of hypertensive complications.

Keywords:
Hypertension; Hypertensive complication; Ginsenoside Rg1; Vascular remodeling