Open Access Open Badges Research article

Bidirectional regulation of angiogenesis and miR-18a expression by PNS in the mouse model of tumor complicated by myocardial ischemia

Qinbo Yang12, Xiaoyan Wang1, Jingang Cui12, Peiwei Wang12, Minqi Xiong1, Chenglin Jia1, Li Liu1, Bingbing Ning1, Li Li12, Wenjian Wang2, Yu Chen12* and Teng Zhang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Yueyang Hospital, Shanghai University of TCM, 110 Ganhe Rd, Shanghai 200437, China

2 Clinical Research Institute of Integrative Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 110 Ganhe Rd, Shanghai 200437, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:183  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-183

Published: 5 June 2014



Panax Notoginseng Saponins (PNS) is the major class of active constituents of notoginseng, a natural product extensively used as a therapeutic agent in China. Tumor when accompanied by cardiovascular disorders poses a greater challenge for clinical management given the paradoxical involvement of angiogenesis, therefore gaining increased research attention. This study aim to investigate effects of PNS and its activity components in the mouse model of tumor complicated with myocardial ischemia.


Tumor complexed with myocardial ischemia mouse model was first established, which was followed by histological and immunohistochemistry examination to assess the effect of indicated treatments on tumor, myocardial ischemia and tissue specific angiogenesis. MicroRNA (miRNA) profiling was further carried out to identify potential miRNA regulators that might mechanistically underline the therapeutic effects of PNS in this complex model.


PNS and its major activity components Rg1, Rb1 and R1 suppressed tumor growth and simultaneously attenuated myocardial ischemia. PNS treatment led to decreased expression of CD34 and vWF in tumor and increased expression of these vascular markers in heart. PNS treatment resulted in reduced expression of miR-18a in tumor and upregulated expression of miR-18a in heart.


Our data demonstrated for the first time that PNS exerts tissue specific regulatory effects on angiogenesis in part through modulating the expression of miR-18a, which could be responsible for its bidirectional effect on complex disease conditions where paradoxical angiogenesis is implicated. Therefore, our study provides experimental evidence warranting evaluation of PNS and related bioactive component as a rational therapy for complex disease conditions including co-manifestation of cancer and ischemic cardiovascular disease.

Myocardial ischemia; Tumor; Angiogenesis; PNS; Bidirectional regulation; miR-18a