Antihypertension induced by tanshinone IIA isolated from the roots of salvia miltiorrhiza

Juei Tang Cheng, Paul Chan, I. Min Liu, Ying Xiao Li, Wen Jen Yu

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Tanshinone IIA is one of the active principles in danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge) widely used in treatment of cardiovascular disorders. We investigated the effect of danshen or tanshinone IIA on blood pressure and its possible mechanisms. An i.p. injection of danshen at 10mgkg(1) significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) but failed to modify the SBP in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). Oral administration of tanshinone IIA also decreased SBP in SHR but not in WKY. Tanshinone IIA produced a concentration-dependent relaxation in isolated SHR aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine (10nmol l-1) or potassium chloride (KCl) (40mmoll-1). The relaxing effect of tanshinone IIA on tonic contraction of phenylephrine in isolated aortic rings without endothelium remained produced. Glibenclamide at concentration sufficient to block adenosine triphosphatase (ATP)-sensitive potassium (K+) channel attenuated this tanshinone IIA-induced relaxation that was not influenced by other inhibitors. We further investigated the effect of tanshinone IIA on the changes of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+] i) in cultured aortic smooth muscle (A7r5) cells using fura-2 as indicator. Tanshinone IIA decreased [Ca2+] i elicited by phenylephrine (10nmoll(1)) or KCl (40mmoll(1)) in a concentration-dependent manner; glibenclamide, but not other inhibitors for K+ channel, abated this effect. Our results suggest that tanshinone IIA acts as an active principle of danshen showing vasodilation through ATP-sensitive K+ channel to lower [Ca2+i.

Original languageEnglish
Article number392627
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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