Astragalus polysaccharides improve cardiomyopathy in STZ-induced diabetic mice and heterozygous (SOD2+/-) knockout mice

Oxidative stress plays an important role in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. In the present study, we determined whether the effect of astragalus polysaccharides (APS) on diabetic cardiomyopathy was associated with its impact on oxidative stress. Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and heterozygous superoxide dismutase (SOD2+/-) knockout mice were administered APS. The hemodynamics, cardiac ultrastructure, and the apoptosis, necrosis and proliferation of cardiomyocytes were assessed to evaluate the effect of APS on diabetic and oxidative cardiomyopathy. Furthermore, H2O2 formation, oxidative stress/damage, and SOD activity in cardiomyocytes were evaluated to determine the effects of APS on cardiac oxidative stress. APS therapy improved hemodynamics and myocardial ultrastructure with reduced apoptosis/necrosis, and enhanced proliferation in cardiomyocytes from both STZ-induced diabetic mice and heterozygous SOD2+/- knockout mice. In addition, APS therapy reduced H2O2 formation and oxidative stress/damage, and enhanced SOD activity in both groups of mice. Our findings suggest that APS had benefits in diabetic cardiomyopathy, which may be partly associated with its impact on cardiac oxidative stress.