The present study was undertaken to evaluate the protection potential of ethanol extract of Salvia miltiorrhiza
(SMEE) against oxidative injury in the ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) model of rats in vivo
. Rats were divided into six groups of 10 rats each. Group I/R model and sham were fed with a standard rat chow, groups SMEE I and SMEE II were fed with a standard rat chow and 400 or 800 mg/kg b.w. ethanol extract for 12 days before the beginning of I/R studies. Positive control group was fed with a standard rat chow and salvianolic acid B (55 mg/kg b.w.) or tanshinone II-A (55 mg/kg b.w.) for 12 days before the beginning of I/R studies. To produce I/R, the left anterior descending artery (LAD) was occluded in anesthetized rats for 15 min, followed by 120 min reperfusion. Infarct sizes were found significantly decreased in SMEE-treated and positive control groups compared to I/R model group. Serum AST, LDH and CK-MB activities were significantly reduced and myocardium Na+
ATPase activities and antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, CAT, GSH-Px) were markedly increased in SMEE-treated and salvianolic acid B or tanshinone II-A positive control groups compared to the I/R model group. Pretreatment of S. miltiorrhiza
ethanol extract and salvianolic acid B or tanshinone II-A dose-dependently reduced significantly myocardium MDA level, ROS and NOS activities and enhanced myocardium GSH level in I/R rats compared to I/R rats model. In conclusion, we clearly demonstrated that S. miltiorrhiza
ethanol extract pretreatment can decrease oxidative injury in rats subjected to myocardial I/R.