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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 610694, 11 pages
Research Article

Tanshinone IIA and Cryptotanshinone Prevent Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Hypoxia-Induced H9c2 Cells: Association to Mitochondrial ROS, Intracellular Nitric Oxide, and Calcium Levels

1Traditional & Complementary Medicine Program, RMIT Health Innovations Research Institute, School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
2Center for Complementary Medicine Research, National Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Campus, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia

Received 12 August 2012; Accepted 27 January 2013

Academic Editor: Kashmira Nanji

Copyright © 2013 Hyou-Ju Jin and Chun-Guang Li. 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.


The protective actions of tanshinones on hypoxia-induced cell damages have been reported, although the mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Given the importance of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in regulation of cell functions, the present study investigated the effects of two major tanshinones, Tanshinone IIA (TIIA) and cryptotanshinone (CT), on hypoxia-induced myocardial cell injury and its relationships with intracellular NO and ROS, calcium, and ATP levels in H9c2 cells. Chronic hypoxia significantly reduced cell viability which accompanied with LDH release, increase in mitochondrial ROS, intracellular NO and calcium levels, decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and cellular ATP contents. TIIA and CT significantly prevented cell injury by increasing cell viability and decreasing LDH release. The protective effects of tanshinones were associated with reduced mitochondrial superoxide production and enhanced mitochondrial SOD activity. Tanshinones significantly reduced intracellular NO and Ca2+ levels. ATP levels were also restored by TIIA. These findings suggest that the cytoprotective actions of tanshinones may involve regulation of intracellular NO, Ca2+, ATP productions, mitochondrial superoxide production, and SOD activity, which contribute to their actions against hypoxia injuries.