ABSTRACT ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese tonic herbs have been shown to enhance the myocardial mitochondrial ATP generation capacity in mice ex vivo. In the present study, we examined the effect of treatment with the methanol extract of ‘Yang-invigorating’ herbs on mitochondrial ATP generation capacity in H9c2 cardio-myocytes. The effect of ‘Yin-nourishing’ herbs was also investigated for comparison. The results indicated that all ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese tonic herbs dose-dependently enhanced the mitochondrial ATP genera-tion capacity in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Three out of nine ‘Yin-nourishing’ herbs produced a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on ATP generation, but to lesser extents than those of Yang herbs. Results obtained from activity-directed fractionation of the three most potent ‘Yang-invigorating’ herbs suggested that the ATP-stimulating ingredients were rather water insoluble and largely resided in the butanol fraction. In con-clusion, ‘Yang-invigorating’ herbs invariably stimulated mitochondrial ATP generation capacity in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. The cell-based assay of ATP generation capacity may be used as pharmacological test for ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese tonic herbs.
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