Original ArticleNaoXinTong Inhibits the Advanced Atherosclerosis and Enhances the Plaque Stability in Apolipoprotein E Deficient MiceYang, Xiaoxiao BS; Sun, Lei BS; Li, Yan BS; Ma, Chuanrui BS; Yang, Jie BS; Zhang, Wenwen BS; Zhao, Buchang MD; Jia, Lifu MD; Duan, Yajun PhD; Han, Jihong PhD; Li, Xiaoju MS; Chen, Yuanli PhDAuthor Information *College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin, China; †Buchang Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd, Xi'an, China; ‡College of Medical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China; §Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Reprints: Yuanli Chen, PhD, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China (e-mail: [email protected]), or Xiaoju Li, MS, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China (e-mail: [email protected]). Supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Grants 81473204 to J. Han, 31400694 to Y. Chen and 81573427 to Y. Duan; 111 Project B08011 to J. Han; International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China 2015DFA30430 to J. Han, Y. Duan, and Y. Chen China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Grants 2014M551014 to Y. Duan and 2015M570226 to Y. Chen. The authors report no conflicts of interest. X. Yang and L. Sun contributed equally to this work. Received July 15, 2015 Accepted September 30, 2015 Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: March 2016 - Volume 67 - Issue 3 - p 203-211 doi: 10.1097/FJC.0000000000000334 Buy Metrics Abstract Buchang NaoXinTong (NXT), a Chinese medicine, has been widely used to treat patients with coronary heart disease in China. However, the underlying mechanisms need more elucidations. In this study, we investigated if NXT can inhibit the progression of the established lesions while stabilizing plaques. Apolipoprotein E deficient (apoE−/−) mice in 3 groups received following treatment: group 1 was fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 18 weeks; group 2 was prefed HFD for 12 weeks followed by HFD containing NXT for additional 6 weeks; group 3 was prefed HFD for 8 weeks followed by HFD containing NXT for additional 10 weeks. After treatment, serum and aorta samples were collected and determined lipid profiles, lesions, collagen content, mineralization, and macrophage accumulation in aortic root, respectively. NXT had slight effect on serum lipid profiles but significantly reduced progression of the advanced lesions. In aortic wall, NXT increased smooth muscle cell/collagen content in lesion cap while reducing buried fibrous caps, mineralization, and macrophage accumulation within lesions, which suggests that NXT can stabilize plaques. In addition, NXT increased expression of smooth muscle 22α mRNA while inhibiting expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and tumor necrosis factor α mRNA in aortas. Our study demonstrates that NXT can reduce advanced atherosclerosis and enhance the plaque stability in apoE−/− mice. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.