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Original Article

Korean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2019; 23(2): 103-111

Published online March 1, 2019

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Beneficial effects of andrographolide in a rat model of autoimmune myocarditis and its effects on PI3K/Akt pathway

Qi Zhang, Li-qun Hu, Hong-qi Li, Jun Wu, Na-na-Bian, and Guang Yan*

Department of Geriatrics, Anhui Provincial Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Hefei 230001, China

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study is to investigate effects of andrographolide on experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). Lewis rats were immunized on day 0 with porcine cardiac myosin to establish EAM. The EAM rats were treated with either andrographolide (25, 50, 100 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 21 days. An antigen-specific splenocytes proliferation assay was performed by using the cells from control rats immunized with cardiac myosin. Survival rates, myocardial pathology and myocardial functional parameters (left ventricle end-diastolic pressure, ± dP/dt and left ventricular internal dimension) of EAM rats received andrographolide were significantly improved. Andrographolide treatment caused an decrease in the infiltration of CD3+ and CD14+ positive cells in myocardial tissue. Moreover, andrographolide treatment caused a reduction in the plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-17 (IL-17) and myosin-antibody, and an increase in the level of IL-10 in EAM rats. Oral administration of andrographolide resulted in the decreased expression of p-PI3K, p-Akt without any change of PI3K and Akt. Further results indicate andrographolide significantly inhibited myosin-induced proliferation in splenocytes, and this effect was inhibited by co-treatment of SC79 (Akt activator). Our data indicate andrographolide inhibits development of EAM, and this beneficial effect may be due to powerful anti-inflammatory activity and inhibitory effect on PI3K/Akt pathway.

Keywords: Akt, Andrographolide, Autoimmune myocarditis, PI3K