Figure 7: SI improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, decreased oxidative stress and iNOS expression, and increased IκBα expression and PI3K/Akt/eNOS phosphyration in thoracic aorta in ovariectomized rats. (a and b) Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation to acetylcholine of precontracted aortic sections was assessed. (c) Dihydroethidium (DHE) fluorescence staining of thoracic aorta. ((d)–(h)) Expression of iNOS (d), IκBα (e), and p85α (f), phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473) (g) and eNOS (Ser1177) (h) in thoracic aorta with western blotting after 24 h perfusion. Plots represent the mean ± SEM, = 5–7. Statistical significance: , compared with OVS; , compared with CMC.