Astragaloside IV Information
Astragaloside IV (ASIV) is a glycoside derived from the astragalus (A. membranaceus or A. propinquus) plant root (radix Astragali) used in traditional Chinese medicine (“TCM”) and studied for a variety of prospective applications including wound healing properties, improvements in immune function, enhanced cardiovascular recovery after adverse events, anti-cancer properties, and attenuating loss of dopaminergic neurons. Astragaloside IV is one of several similar compounds isolated from the astragalus plant, and shares anti-inflammatory properties with other cycloartane-type glycosides.
In addition to being a glycoside (functional group attached to a carbohydrate through a glycosidic bond), astragaloside IV is also a saponin. Saponins are plant-derived glycosides that foam or froth when shaken in water. Many saponins exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. All saponins are glycosides, but many non-saponin glycosides are also known to occur. The discrete functional group bound to the carbohydrate is known as an aglycone; when the carbohydrate portion is replaced with a hydrogen atom, this configuration is also called an aglycone.
The complete root of various plants belonging to the genus astragalus is prepared and used in medicinal traditions; according to Sevimli-Gür (2011) the presence of multiple cycloartane glycosides with wound-healing and immune-modulating properties, including astragaloside IV, partially validates this practice .
Thus far, primarily in non-human models, ASIV has displayed a variety of promising effects, including tissue-specific healing of various types, including cardiac tissue:
Astragaloside IV significantly reduced infarct size in dogs subjected to coronary ligation in vivo. Astragaloside IV also improved post-ischemic heart function and ameliorated reperfusion arrhythmias in rat hearts in vitro. The cardioprotection of astragaloside IV was accompanied by a significant increase in coronary flow both in vivo and in vitro.
ASIV increases lymphocyte production (T- and B-cell) and antibody production in vitro and in vivo.
ASIV increases endogenous antioxidant activity (superoxide dismutase, SOD) in vivo and attenuates homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction:
In human umbilical vein endothelial cells culture experiment, exposure to astragaloside IV significantly ameliorated the homocysteine-induced inactivation of nitric oxide-nitric oxide synthase signal pathway via reducing oxygen species and increasing the activity of superoxide dismutase. Additionally, pretreatment with superoxide dismutase showed a similar effect to astragaloside IV on attenuation of the homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction. These data support the view that astragaloside IV might be advantageous in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction induced by disturbed nitric oxide-nitric oxide synthase pathway due to oxidative stress in hyperhomocysteinemia.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of multi-function stem cell with the ability to differentiate into several different cell types: chondrocytes (cartilage cells), adipocytes (fat cells), or osteoblasts (bone cells). ASIV promotes MSC proliferation in vitro (which may be useful for certain medical applications); macrophase stimulating colony factor (SCF) secretion in particular was elevated, providing a potential partial explanation for the immunomodulatory properties of ASIV:
[The purpose of the] study the effect of astragaloside IV on the expression of cytokines in bone mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in rats….MSCs were isolated from Wistar rats by the method of adhesive cultiration[sic] and clone, and then their biological activities were assessed using indirect immunofluorescence. Proliferation of MSCs stimulated with astragaloside IV was ascertained by the MTT method. Expression of cytokines was ascertained using RT-PCR in MSCs with astragaloside IV stimulation or not. …[we report that] MSCs were effectively isolated and purified in vitro, and had expression of many cytokines except IL-3, such as stem cell factor (SCF), thrombopoietin (TPO), granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and transforming growth factor (TGF-beta1). Astragaloside IV stimulation promoted MSCs proliferation, and 200 mg/mL astragaloside IV treatment produced a peak effect 72 hrs after culture. The SCF expression in MSCs stimulated with astragaloside IV increased significantly compared with that in MSCs without astragaloside IV stimulation. …[in conclusion] Astragaloside IV may promote MSCs proliferation and increase SCF secretion in vitro.
Induced left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in rats was reduced after administration of ASIV; other measurable associated factors were also reduced.
 Sevimli-Gür C, Onbaşılar I, Atilla P, Genç R, Cakar N, Deliloğlu-Gürhan I, Bedir E. In vitro growth stimulatory and in vivo wound healing studies on cycloartane-type saponins of Astragalus genus. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Apr 12;134(3):844-50.
 Wei-Dong Zhang, Hong Chen, Chuan Zhang, Run-Hui Liu, Hui-Liang Li, Hong-Zhuan Chen. Astragaloside IV from Astragalus membranaceus Shows Cardioprotection during Myocardial Ischemia in vivo and in vitro. Planta Med 2006; 72(1): 4-8.
 Wang YP, Li XY, Song CQ, Hu ZB. Effect of astragaloside IV on T, B lymphocyte proliferation and peritoneal macrophage function in mice. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002 Mar;23(3):263-6.
 Deng Y, Chen HF. [Effects of Astragalus injection and its ingredients on proliferation and Akt phosphorylation of breast cancer cell lines]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2009 Dec;7(12):1174-80.
 Chan WS, Durairajan SS, Lu JH, Wang Y, Xie LX, Kum WF, Koo I, Yung KK, Li M. Neuroprotective effects of Astragaloside IV in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated primary nigral cell culture. Neurochem Int. 2009 Nov;55(6):414-22. Epub 2009 May 4.
 Lee DY, Noh HJ, Choi J, Lee KH, Lee MH, Lee JH, Hong Y, Lee SE, Kim S. and Kim G. Anti-Inflammatory Cycloartane-Type Saponins of Astragalus membranaceus. Molecules 2013, 18(4), 3725-3732.
 Qiu LH, Xie XJ, Zhang BQ. Astragaloside IV improves homocysteine-induced acute phase endothelial dysfunction via antioxidation. Biol Pharm Bull. 2010;33(4):641-6.
 Tan YF, Yin XC, Xiong YJ, Wang Y [Stem cell factor secretion by bone mesenchymal stem cells stimulated with astragaloside IV]. Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2010 Apr;12(4):290-2.
 Shi H, Ma C, Liu Y, Zhou J, Hu Z, Wu D [Inhibitory effect on activated renin-angiotensin system by astragaloside IV in rats with pressure-overload induced cardiac hypertrophy]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Dec;34(24):3242-6.