Danshensu, a herbal preparation used in traditional Chinese medicine, possesses potential antitumor and anti‑angiogenesis effects.
Danshensu reduces lipid peroxidation on mitochondrial membrane by scavenging free radicals, and inhibits permeability and transmission of mitochondrial membrane by reducing thiol oxidation. Danshensu markedly improves cell viability and decreased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Danshensu increases phosphorylation of Akt and extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in H9c2 cells, and the protective effects of Danshensu are partially inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) specific inhibitor wortmannin or ERK specific inhibitor U0126. Danshensu could provide significant cardioprotection against MI/R injury, and the potential mechanisms might to suppression of cardiomyocytes apoptosis through activating the PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Danshensu increases Bcl-2 expression and decreases Bax, active caspase-3 expression by activating Akt and ERK signaling pathways. Danshensu has been demonstrated to have biological activities in improving microcirculation, suppressing the formation of reactive oxygen species, inhibiting platelet adhesion and aggregation, protecting myocardium against ischemia, protecting endothelial cells against injury induced by inflammation.