Studying the biotransformation of natural products by intestinal microflora is an important approach to understanding how and why some medicines - particularly natural medicines - work. In many cases, the active components are generated by metabolic activation. This is critical for drug research and development. As a means to explore the therapeutic mechanism of Dioscorea nipponica (DN), a medicinal plant used to treat myocardial ischemia (MI), metabolites generated by intestinal microflora from DN were identified, and the cardioprotective efficacy of these metabolites was evaluated. Our results demonstrate that diosgenin is the main metabolite produced by rat intestinal microflora from DN. Further, our results show that diosgenin protects the myocardium against ischemic insult through increasing enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant levels in vivo and by decreasing oxidative stress damage. These mechanisms explain the clinical efficacy of DN as an anti-MI drug.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cell Biology