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Nigella sativa– a promising source of bioactive compounds with beneficial effects in CVD
* 1 , 1 , 2 , 1
1  Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Victor Babes, No. 8, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2  Research Station for Viticulture and Enology Blaj (SCDVV Blaj), 515400 Blaj, Romania
Academic Editor: Vito Verardo


Introduction: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) continues to be the major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, despite socioeconomic status. Plant bioactive compounds are studied as complementary therapies in CVD. Among natural products, Nigella sativa and its bioactive compounds or derived products proved their efficacy against multiple cardiovascular risk factors through its antioxidant capacity, antihypertensive, hypolipidemic, or anti-atherosclerotic effects. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the Nigella sativa oil (N. sativa oil) effect using an in vivo model of induced myocardial infarction with isoproterenol in rats.

Materials and methods: N. sativa oil was characterized for its bioactive compounds using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Thirty rats were divided into three groups as follows: the control group (saline solution), the isoproterenol group (45 mg/kg), and N. sativa oil group (isoproterenol – 45 mg/kg and N.sativa oil 0.4 mL/100g). The myocardial infarction was induced on the 14th day of the experiment. Electrocardiography was performed at the beginning and after one day from infarct induction. Serum analysis was evaluated using biochemical evaluation like alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and myocardial fraction of creatine kinase (CK-Mb). The inflammatory status was evaluated by measuring tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) inflammatory cytokines.

Results: N. sativa oil was rich in flavonoids, thymol derivatives α-thujene, p-cymene, α-pinene, and thymoquinone. Administration of N. sativa oil had a significant effect in reducing ventricular conduction while preventing isoproterenol cardiotoxic effects in the ventricular myocardium. Also, N. sativa oil administration significantly decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines when compared to the isoproterenol group. The levels of CK-Mb were as well significantly reduced.

Conclusion: The anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects of N.sativa oil in the isoproterenol-induced experimental myocardial infarction indicate its potential use in human diets with promising applicability in the control of several associated CVD risk factors.

Keywords: nigella sativa oil, isoproterenol, myocardial infarction