The cordycepin derivative IMM-H007 improves endothelial dysfunction by suppressing vascular inflammation and promoting AMPK-dependent eNOS activation in high-fat diet-fed ApoE knockout mice

Min-Jie Wang, Xue-Ying Peng, Ze-Qin Lian, Hai-Bo Zhu
European Journal of Pharmacology 2019 February 28
2',3',5'-Tri-O-acetyl-N6 -(3-hydroxyphenyl) adenosine, a cordycepin derivative that is also known as IMM-H007, is a new adenosine analogue and anti-hyperlipidaemic drug that was developed in our laboratory. It has been previously reported to alleviate atherosclerosis by regulating blood lipid levels. The purpose of the current study was to determine the protective effects of IMM-H007 on endothelial function and vascular inflammation independent of its lipid-lowering effect. Vascular reactivity was determined using a pressure myography system-120CP. Vascular inflammation was assessed to quantify leukocyte-endothelial adhesion in the mesenteric microcirculation. Relative levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase(eNOS)activity were detected using a fluorescent nitric oxide(NO)probe, and NO production was detected using Griess reagent. Atherosclerotic plaques were evaluated with en face and cross section analyses. Here, IMM-H007 improved endothelial dysfunction through a mechanism independent of its lipid-lowering effect. IMM-H007 suppressed vascular inflammation both in the initial stage and during the progression of atherosclerosis. The in vitro study using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) revealed that IMM-H007 increased eNOS activity and nitric oxide production, which were closely related to the increased phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), protein kinase B (Akt) and eNOS induced by IMM-H007. Furthermore, inhibition of AMPK by Compound C completely blocked IMM-H007-induced Akt and eNOS activation. IMM-H007 suppressed the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE-/- mice. We have presented evidence that IMM-H007 represents a potential therapeutic strategy to improve endothelial function and attenuate inflammation, and it is a promising, novel therapeutic approach to treating atherosclerosis.

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