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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013, Article ID 471790, 10 pages
Research Article

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) Bark Extract: Cardiovascular Activity and Myocyte Protection against Oxidative Damage

1Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2Department of Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy
3Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Piazza Goidanich, 60, 47521 Cesena, Italy

Received 30 November 2012; Accepted 20 January 2013

Academic Editor: Ron Kohen

Copyright © 2013 Alberto Chiarini 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.


This work was aimed at evaluating the cardioprotective effects of Castanea sativa Mill. (CSM) bark extract characterized in its phenolic composition by HPLC-DAD-MS analysis. The study was performed using primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to investigate the antioxidant and cytoprotective effects of CSM bark extract and isolated guinea pig left and right atria, left papillary muscle, and aorta to evaluate its direct effect on cholinergic and adrenergic response. In cultured cardiomyocytes the CSM bark extract reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species formation and improved cell viability following oxidative stress in dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the extract decreased the contraction induced by noradrenaline (1 μM) in guinea pig aortic strips and induced transient negative chronotropic and positive inotropic effects without involvement of cholinergic or adrenergic receptors in the guinea pig atria. Our results indicate that CSM bark extract exhibits antioxidant activity and might induce cardioprotective effect.