Inhibition of NADPH oxidase-related oxidative stress-triggered signaling by honokiol suppresses high glucose-induced human endothelial cell apoptosis

Meei Ling Sheu, Chih Kang Chiang, Keh Sung Tsai, Feng Ming Ho, Te I Weng, Hsiao Yi Wu, Shing Hwa Liu
Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2008 June 15, 44 (12): 2043-50
Angiopathy is a major complication of diabetes. Abnormally high blood glucose is a crucial risk factor for endothelial cell damage. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) has been demonstrated as a mediated signaling in hyperglycemia or oxidative stress-triggered apoptosis of endothelial cells. Here we explored the efficacy of honokiol, a small molecular weight natural product, on NADPH oxidase-related oxidative stress-mediated NF-kappaB-regulated signaling and apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) under hyperglycemic conditions. The methods of morphological Hoechst staining and annexin V/propidium iodide staining were used to detect apoptosis. Submicromolar concentrations of honokiol suppressed the increases of NADPH oxidase activity, Rac-1 phosphorylation, p22(phox) protein expression, and reactive oxygen species production in high glucose (HG)-stimulated HUVECs. The degradation of IkappaBalpha and increase of NF-kappaB activity were inhibited by honokiol in HG-treated HUVECs. Moreover, honokiol (0.125-1 microM) also suppressed HG-induced cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 upregulation and prostaglandin E(2) production in HUVECs. Honokiol could reduce increased caspase-3 activity and the subsequent apoptosis and cell death triggered by HG. These results imply that inhibition of NADPH oxidase-related oxidative stress by honokiol suppresses the HG-induced NF-kappaB-regulated COX-2 upregulation, apoptosis, and cell death in HUVECs, which has the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent to prevent hyperglycemia-induced endothelial damage.

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