Puerarin protects endothelial cells from oxidized low density lipoprotein induced injuries via the suppression of LOX-1 and induction of eNOS

Mei-hua Bao, Yi-wen Zhang, Xiao-ya Lou, Yan Xiao, Yu Cheng, Hong-hao Zhou
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2014, 92 (4): 299-306
Oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) induced injury of endothelial cells is considered to be the first step in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. This study aimed to investigate some of the effects and mechanisms of puerarin on oxLDL-induced endothelial injuries. We measured cell viability, and the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), nitric oxide (NO), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) to evaluate the protective effects of puerarin. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA). The expression of lectin-like low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), p38MAPK, and protein kinase B (PKB) phosphorylation, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) nuclear translocation, and inhibitor of κB (IκB) degradation were detected using quantitative real-time PCR or Western blot. The results showed that oxLDL significantly decreased cell viability, increased LDH and IL-8 release, inhibited NO production, and induced COX-2 expression. Pretreatment with puerarin led to a strong inhibition of these effects. OxLDL stimulated the expression of LOX-1, the overproduction of ROS, the phosphorylation of p38MAPK, the dephosphorylation of PKB, activation of NF-κB, and the degradation of IκB. These oxLDL-induced effects were suppressed after puerarin pretreatment. These results suggest that puerarin inhibits oxLDL-induced endothelial cell injuries, at least in part, via inhibition of the LOX-1-mediated p38MAPK-NF-κB inflammatory and the PKB-eNOS signaling pathways.

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