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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2022; 26(5): 325-333

Published online September 1, 2022

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Benzoylaconine improves mitochondrial function in oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion-induced cardiomyocyte injury by activation of the AMPK/PGC-1 axis

Leijie Chen1, Laixing Yan2,*, and Weiwei Zhang3

1Department of Cardiology, Hebi People’s Hospital, Hebi 458030, 2Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Shulan (Hangzhou) Hospital Affiliated to Zhejiang Shuren University Shulan International Medical College, Hangzhou 310022, 3Department of Geriatrics, Hubin Street Community Health Service Center, Hangzhou 310000, China

Correspondence to:Laixing Yan

Author contributions: L.C. designed the study, supervised the data collection. L.Y. analyzed the data, interpreted the data. W.Z. prepare the manuscript for publication and reviewed the draft of the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

Received: April 6, 2022; Revised: June 6, 2022; Accepted: June 13, 2022

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.


Heart failure (HF) has become one of the severe public health problems. The detailed role of mitochondrial function in HF was still unclear. Benzoylaconine (BAC) is a traditional Chinese medicine, but its role in HF still needs to be explored. In this study, oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) was executed to mimic the injury of H9C2 cells in HF. The viability of H9C2 cells was assessed via MTT assay. OGD/R treatment markedly decreased the viability of H9C2 cells, but BAC treatment evidently increased the viability of OGD/R-treated H9C2 cells. The apoptosis of H9C2 was enhanced by OGD/R treatment but suppressed by BAC treatment. The mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated via JC-1 assay. BAC improved the mitochondrial function and suppressed oxidative stress in OGD/R-treated H9C2 cells. Moreover, Western blot analysis revealed that the protein expression of p-AMPK and PGC-1α were reduced in OGD/R-treated H9C2 cells, which was reversed by BAC. Rescue assays indicated that AMPK attenuation reversed the BAC-mediated protective effect on OGD/R-treated cardiomyocytes. Moreover, BAC alleviated myocardial injury in vivo. In a word, BAC modulated the mitochondrial function in OGD/R-induced cardiomyocyte injury by activation of the AMPK/PGC-1 axis. The findings might provide support for the application of BAC in the treatment of HF.

Keywords: AMP-activated protein kinases, Benzoylaconine, Cardiomyocytes, Mitochondrial function