The cardiac protective effects of asiatic acid (AA) and maslinic acid (MA) in diabetic mice were examined. These triterpenoids at 0.1 or 0.2% of the diet were supplied to diabetic mice for 12 weeks. The AA or MA treatments decreased plasma glucose and HbA1c levels, and creatine phosphokinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities in diabetic mice (p < 0.05). AA or MA intake increased the amount deposited in the heart which retained the cardiac glutathione content and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species, Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine, pentosidine, methylglyoxal, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in the hearts of diabetic mice (p < 0.05). AA or MA intake lowered plasma von Willebrand factor and fibrinogen levels, and factor VII activity (p < 0.05), also AA or MA intake maintained circulating antithrombin-III and protein C activities (p < 0.05). AA or MA treatments down-regulated cardiac expression of NADPH oxidase, aldose reductase, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 and p-p38; as well as reserving glyoxalase 1 expression (p < 0.05). These two compounds at only 0.2% lowered cardiac expression of NF-κB p50, p-ERK1/2 and the receptor of the advanced glycation endproduct (p < 0.05). These findings support the conclusion that the supplement of these triterpenoids could protect the heart under diabetic conditions via attenuating glycative injury and coagulatory disorders.
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