Exploring the protective effects of schizandrol A in acute myocardial ischemia mice by comprehensive metabolomics profiling integrated with molecular mechanism studies

Authors: Guang-ying Yuan1, Hao Wang1, Ze-liang Liu2, Jun-ping Kou1, Bo-yang Yu1, Fang Li1
1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of TCM Evaluation and Translational Research, Research Center for Traceability and Standardization of TCMs, School of Traditional Chinese Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 211199, China
2 Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210046, China
Correspondence to: Bo-yang Yu:, Fang Li:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-020-0377-7
Received: 14 October 2019
Accepted: 11 February 2020
Advance online: 2 March 2020


Schizandrol A (SA) is an bioactive component isolated from the Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill., which has been used as a remedy to prevent oxidative injury. However, whether the cardioprotective effect of SA is associated with regulating endogenous metabolites remains unclear, thus we performed comprehensive metabolomics profiling in acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) mice following SA treatment. AMI was induced in ICR mice by coronary artery ligation, then SA (6 mg·kg−1·d−1, ip) was administered. SA treatment significantly decreased the infarct size, preserved the cardiac function, and improved the biochemical indicators and cardiac pathological alterations. Moreover, SA (10, 100 M) significantly decreased the apoptotic index in OGD-treated H8c2 cardiomycytes in vitro. By using HPLC-Q-TOF/MS, we conducted metabonomics analysis to screen the significantly changed endogenous metabolites and construct the network in both serum and urine. The results revealed that SA regulated the pathways of glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, lysine biosynthesis, pyrimidine metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism, cysteine and methionine metabolism, valine, leucine and isoleucine biosynthesis under the pathological conditions of AMI. Furthermore, we selected the regulatory enzymes related to heart disease, including ecto-5’-nucleotidase (NT5E), guanidinoacetate Nmethyltransferase (GAMT), platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF) and methionine synthase (MTR), for validation. In addition, SA was found to facilitate PI3K/Akt activation and inhibit the expression of NOX2 in AMI mice and OGD-treated H9c2 cells. In conclusion, we have elucidated SA-regulated endogenous metabolic pathways and constructed a regulatory metabolic network map. Furthermore, we have validated the new potential therapeutic targets and underlying molecular mechanisms of SA against AMI, which might provide a reference for its future application in cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: schizandrol A; cardioprotective effect; acute myocardial ischemia mice; OGD-treated H9c2 cardiomycytes; metabonomics; metabolic pathways; therapeutic targets

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