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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 825056, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/825056
Research Article

The Effects of Velvet Antler of Deer on Cardiac Functions of Rats with Heart Failure following Myocardial Infarction

1National Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine Center for Cardiovascular Disease, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, China
2Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Internal Medicine, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China

Received 12 November 2011; Revised 12 February 2012; Accepted 13 February 2012

Academic Editor: Keji Chen

Copyright © 2012 Ming-Jing Shao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Velvet antler of deer (VAD) is a commonly-used kidney-Yang supplementing traditional Chinese medication. According to the heart-kidney-related theory, heart Yang originates in kidney Yang and heart failure due to heart Yang deficiency can be treated by tonifying kidney Yang. In this study, we investigated therapeutic effects of VAD on cardiac functions in rats with heart failure following myocardial infarction. Forty-eight male Wistar rats were subjected either to left coronary artery ligation (N=36) or to sham operation (N=12). One week after the surgery, rats with heart failure received daily treatment of double-distilled water, captopril or VAD by gavage for consecutively four weeks, while sham-operated animals were given double-distilled water. Ultrasonic echocardiography was adopted to examine cardiac structural and functional parameters and serum brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentration was measured using radioimmunoassay. We found that VAD partially reversed changes in cardiac functional parameters and serum BNP levels in rats with heart failure. These results provide further evidence for the heart-kidney-related theory and suggest that VAD might be a potentially alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of heart failure.