Puerarin attenuates the endothelial-mesenchymal transition induced by oxidative stress in human coronary artery endothelial cells through PI3K/AKT pathway.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Nov 5 ;886:173472. Epub 2020 Aug 27. PMID: 32860809
Endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is a process in which endothelial cells lose their specific morphology/markers and undergo a dramatic remodeling of the cytoskeleton. It has been implicated in the progression of cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction. Recent study indicated that puerarin could inhibit EndMT against cardiac fibrosis. However, the precise role of puerarin in EndMT and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. EndMT was induced by HO(150 μM) in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). HCAECs were exposed to HOfor six days with or without puerarin pretreated 2 h. The protein changes of EndMT markers (CD31, VE-cadherin, FSP1 and α-SMA) in HCAECs were detected. The levels of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase B (AKT) proteins were analyzed by Western Blot. Wound healing and transwell assay were carried out to examine cell chemotaxis. Puerarin mitigated HO-induced EndMT as indicated by alleviating the reduced expression of CD31 and VE-cadherin and inhibiting the upregulation ofα-SMA and FSP1. Furthermore, the mechanisms study showed that puerarin activated the PI3K/AKT pathway by inhibiting reactive oxygen species and further attenuated EndMT. On the other hand, PI3K inhibitor LY294002 reversed this effect imposed by puerarin. Puerarin alleviated the migration of mesenchymal-like cells through reducing MMPs protein expression. These results implicated that puerarin exhibited cytoprotective effects against HO-induced EndMT in HCAECs through alleviating oxidative stress, activating the PI3K/AKT pathway and limiting cell migration.