The Inhibitory Effect of Ojeoksan on Early and Advanced Atherosclerosis

Byung Hyuk Han, Chang Seob Seo, Jung Joo Yoon, Hye Yoom Kim, You Mee Ahn, So Young Eun, Mi Hyeon Hong, Jae Geon Lee, Hyeun Kyoo Shin, Ho Sub Lee, Yun Jung Lee, Dae Gill Kang
Nutrients 2018 September 6, 10 (9)
Atherosclerosis is closely related to vascular dysfunction and hypertension. Ojeoksan (OJS), originally recorded in an ancient Korean medicinal book named "Donguibogam", is a well-known, blended herbal formula. This study was carried out to investigate the beneficial effects of OJS on atherosclerosis in vitro and in vivo. Western-diet-fed apolipoprotein-E gene-deficient mice (ApoE -/-) were used for this study for 16 weeks, and their vascular dysfunction and inflammation were analyzed. OJS-treated ApoE -/- mice showed lowered blood pressure and glucose levels. The levels of metabolic parameters with hyperlipidemia attenuated following OJS administration. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining revealed that treatment with OJS reduced atherosclerotic lesions. OJS also suppressed the expression of adhesion molecules and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) compared to Western-diet-fed ApoE -/- mice and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Expression levels of MicroRNAs (miRNA)-10a, -126 3p were increased in OJS-fed ApoE -/- mice. OJS significantly increased the phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and protein kinase B (Akt), which are involved in nitric oxide (NO) production. OJS also regulated eNOS coupling by increasing the expression of endothelial GTP Cyclohydrolase-1 (GTPCH). Taken together, OJS has a protective effect on vascular inflammation via eNOS coupling-mediated NO production and might be a potential therapeutic agent for both early and advanced atherosclerosis.

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