Baicalin protects the cardiomyocytes from ER stress-induced apoptosis: inhibition of CHOP through induction of endothelial nitric oxide synthase

Mingzhi Shen, Lin Wang, Guodong Yang, Lei Gao, Bo Wang, Xiaowang Guo, Chao Zeng, Yong Xu, Liangliang Shen, Ke Cheng, Yuesheng Xia, Xiumin Li, Haichang Wang, Li Fan, Xiaoming Wang
PloS One 2014, 9 (2): e88389
Baicalin, the main active ingredient of the Scutellaria root, exerts anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic effects in cardiovascular diseases. However, the therapeutic mechanism of baicalin remains unknown. Cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were pre-treated with baicalin (0-50 µM) for 24 h, and subsequently treated with tunicamycin (100 ng/ml). Cell viability was detected by MTT assay, and cell damage was determined by LDH release and TUNEL assay. The expression of CHOP, JNK, caspase-3, eNOS was analyzed by western blot. NO was measured by DAF-FM staining. As a result, treatment with baicalin significantly reduced apoptosis induced by ER stress inducer tunicamycin in cardiomyocytes. Molecularly, baicalin ameliorated tunicamycin-induced ER stress by downregulation of CHOP. In addition, baicalin inverted tunicamycin-induced decreases of eNOS mRNA and protein levels, phospho eNOS and NO production through CHOP pathway. However, the protective effects of baicalin were significantly decreased in cardiomyocytes treated with L-NAME, which suppressed activation of nitric oxide synthase. In conclusion, our results implicate that baicalin could protect cardiomyocytes from ER stress-induced apoptosis via CHOP/eNOS/NO pathway, and suggest the therapeutic values of baicalin against ER stress-associated cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

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