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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 365854, 12 pages
Research Article

Luteolin Exerts Cardioprotective Effects through Improving Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPase Activity in Rats during Ischemia/Reperfusion In Vivo

1Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221002, China
2Department of Cardiology, The Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221002, China

Received 22 June 2015; Revised 6 October 2015; Accepted 12 October 2015

Academic Editor: Yew-Min Tzeng

Copyright © 2015 Changsheng Nai 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.


The flavonoid luteolin exists in many types of fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. Our previous studies have demonstrated that luteolin reduced ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in vitro, which was related with sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) activity. However, the effects of luteolin on SERCA2a activity during I/R in vivo remain unclear. To investigate whether luteolin exerts cardioprotective effects and to monitor changes in SERCA2a expression and activity levels in vivo during I/R, we created a myocardial I/R rat model by ligating the coronary artery. We demonstrated that luteolin could reduce the myocardial infarct size, lactate dehydrogenase release, and apoptosis during I/R injury in vivo. Furthermore, we found that luteolin inhibited the I/R-induced decrease in SERCA2a activity in vivo. However, neither I/R nor luteolin altered SERCA2a expression levels in myocardiocytes. Moreover, the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway played a vital role in this mechanism. In conclusion, the present study has confirmed for the first time that luteolin yields cardioprotective effects against I/R injury by inhibiting the I/R-induced decrease in SERCA2a activity partially via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in vivo, independent of SERCA2a protein level regulation. SERCA2a activity presents a novel biomarker to assess the progress of I/R injury in experimental research and clinical applications.