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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 4379139, 6 pages
Research Article

Effects of Yiqi Tongyang on HCN4 Protein Phosphorylation in Damaged Rabbit Sinoatrial Node Cells

Department of Cardiovascular, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China

Received 12 October 2015; Revised 27 January 2016; Accepted 2 March 2016

Academic Editor: Alfredo Vannacci

Copyright © 2016 Jinfeng Liu 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 hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel () is closely associated with sinoatrial node pacing function. The present study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in pacing function improvements of damaged sinoatrial node cells and the consequent treatment effects on sick sinus syndrome (SSS) after the use of Yiqi Tongyang. HCN4 channel protein expression and phosphorylation were measured by immunoblotting and fluorescent quantitation. After ischemia-reperfusion injury (model group), the HCN4 protein and the optical density (OD) of the phosphorylated HCN4 protein as well as intracellular PKA activity in the sinoatrial node cells decreased significantly. However, the OD values and PKA activity increased to different degrees after treatment with serum containing different doses of Yiqi Tongyang; in contrast, no significant improvement was seen in the control group compared to the model group. These findings demonstrated that the use of the traditional Chinese medicine Yiqi Tongyang could increase HCN4 protein expression and phosphorylation as well as PKA activity within sinoatrial node cells damaged by ischemia-reperfusion. The HCN4 protein is involved in the -related ion channel. Here, we speculated that these effects could be associated with upregulation of HCN4 protein phosphorylation, which consequently improved cell automaticity, increased heart rate, and had treatment effects on SSS.