Tetramethylpyrazine induces heme oxygenase-1 expression and attenuates myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats

Shu Ying Chen, George Hsiao, Hwong Ru Hwang, Pao Yun Cheng, Yen Mei Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The accumulation of oxygen free radicals and activation of neutrophils are strongly implicated as pathophysiological mechanisms mediating myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has been reported to play a protective role in oxidative tissue injuries. In this study, the cardioprotective activity of tetramethylpyrazine (TMP), an active ingredient of Chinese medicinal herb Ligusticum wallichii Franchat, was evaluated in an open-chest anesthetized rat model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Pretreatment with TMP (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.v.) before left coronary artery occlusion significantly suppressed the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation. After 45 min of ischemia and 1 h of reperfusion, TMP (5 and 10 mg/kg) caused a significant reduction in infarct size and induced HO-1 expression in ischemic myocardium. The HO inhibitor ZnPP (50 μg/rat) markedly reversed the anti-infarct action of TMP. Superoxide anion production in ischemic myocardium after 10 min reperfusion was inhibited by TMP. Furthermore, TMP (200 and 500 μM) significantly suppressed fMLP (800 nM)-activated human neutrophil migration and respiratory burst. In conclusion, TMP suppresses ischemia-induced ventricular arrhythmias and reduces the infarct size resulting from ischemia/reperfusion injury in vivo. This cardioprotective activity of TMP may be associated with its antioxidant activity via induction of HO-1 and with its capacity for neutrophil inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-740
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Arrhythmias
  • HO-1
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Neutrophils
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reperfusion injury
  • Tetramethylpyrazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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