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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 578060, 8 pages
Research Article

Ocimum gratissimum Aqueous Extract Protects H9c2 Myocardiac Cells from H2O2-Induced Cell Apoptosis through Akt Signalling

1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Tian-Sheng Memorial Hospital, Pingtung 92843, Taiwan
2Department of Life Science, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei 24205, Taiwan
3Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 40201, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
5Center for Molecular Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
6Clinical Laboratory, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40201, Taiwan

Received 22 April 2010; Accepted 9 July 2010

Copyright © 2011 Mu-Jang Lee 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.


Increased cell death of cardiomyocyte by oxidative stress is known to cause dysfunction of the heart. O. gratissimum is one of the more well-known medicinal plants among the Ocimum species and widely used in treatment of inflammatory diseases. In this study, we hypothesized that aqueous extract of O. gratissimum leaf (OGE) may protect myocardiac cell H9c2 from oxidative injury by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Our results revealed that OGE pretreatment dose-dependently protects H9c2 cells from cell death when exposed to H2O2. Additionally, DNA condensation induced by H2O2 was also reduced by OGE pretreatment, suggesting that Ocimum gratissimum extract may attenuate H2O2-induced chromosome damage. Further investigation showed that OGE pretreatment inhibited H2O2-induced activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9, as well as H2O2-induced upregulation of proapoptotic Apaf-1 and the release of cytosolic cytochrome c, but has little effect on the activation of caspase-8. Additionally, OGE pretreatment significantly upregulated Bcl-2 expression and Akt phosphorylation, and slightly affected the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases including p38 MAPK and JNK. Taken together, our findings revealed that Ocimum gratissimum extract effectively inhibited the mitochondrial pathway and upregulated Bcl-2 expression, which may be important in protecting H9c2 cells from H2O2-induced cell death.