Formononetin protects against ox-LDL-induced endothelial dysfunction. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Formononetin protects against ox-LDL-induced endothelial dysfunction by activating PPAR-γ signaling based on network pharmacology and experimental validation.
Bioengineered. 2021 Dec ;12(1):4887-4898. PMID: 34369277
Formononetin (FMNT), a flavonoid identified from the Chinese herb, possesses anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidative properties in different human diseases. This study aims to comprehensively elucidate the function of FMNT in atherosclerosis and its underlying mechanisms. Online public databases were used to identify the drug-disease targets. Protein-protein interaction (PPI), Gene Ontology (GO), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment were applied to explore the potential targets and signaling pathways involved in FMNT against atherosclerosis. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were exposed to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) to construct an atherosclerosis cell model. Endothelial cell function was assessed via examining cell proliferation, inflammatory factors, oxidative markers, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and apoptosis. Western blot was performed to detect the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cleaved caspase-3, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). A total of 39 overlapping target genes of FMNT and atherosclerosis were identified. Through the PPI network analysis, 14 hub genes were screened and found to be closely relevant to inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Results of KEGG pathway assays indicated that lots of targets were enriched in PPAR signaling. Functionally, FMNT could protect against ox-LDL-induced inflammatory reaction, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in HUVECs. Moreover, FMNT attenuated ox-LDL-mediated inactivation of PPAR-γ signaling. GW9662, a PPAR-γ antagonist, reversed the inhibitory effect ofFMNT on ox-LDL-induced endothelial injury. In conclusion, FMNT alleviates ox-LDL-induced endothelial injury in HUVECs by stimulating PPAR-γ signaling, providing a theoretical basis for employing FMNT as a potential drug to combat atherosclerosis.: FMNT: formononetin; PPI: protein-protein interaction; GO: Gene Ontology; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; HUVECs: human umbilical vein endothelial cells; ox-LDL: oxidized low-density lipoprotein; COX-2: cyclooxygenase-2; eNOS: endothelial nitric oxide synthase; PPAR-γ: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ; CVD: cardiovascular disease; TCM: traditional Chinese medicines; OGDR: oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation; ROS: reactive oxygen species; FBS: fetal bovine serum; CCK-8: cell counting kit-8; EdU: 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine; SOD: antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase; MDA: malondialdehyde; DCFH-DA: 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate; PVDF: polyvinylidene fluoride; ANOVA: one-way analysis of variance; PPARs: peroxisome proliferation-activated receptors.