Tanshinone IIA harmonizes the crosstalk of autophagy and polarization in macrophages via miR-375/KLF4 pathway to attenuate atherosclerosis.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2019 May ;70:486-497. Epub 2019 Mar 12. PMID: 30870679
Macrophages play a pivotal role in destabilizing atherosclerotic plaque. The diverse phenotypes and complex autophagy in macrophage are observed in atherosclerotic lesions. Tanshinone IIA (TNA) is known as the major component extracted from the root of Chinese herb Salvia miltiorrhiza, used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, the therapeutic mechanism of TNA is not clear yet. In this study, we identified inflammation-related gene expression by microarray in atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE knockout mice fed with high fat diet and found miR-375 was one of the significantly high expressed microRNAs compared with wild type mice and TNA treated mice. Then we compared the levels of proteins related to the signal pathway of autophagy, and the phenotype of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques ex vivo. We predicted KLF4 might be the key target of miR-375 that mediated the crosstalk between autophagy and polarization by TNA. Furthermore, we detected the expression of signal pathway in ox-LDL induced macrophages after treatment with TNA in vitro to verify this predict. The results suggest TNA could activate KLF4 and enhance autophagy as well as M2 polarization of macrophages by inhibiting miR-375 to Attenuate Atherosclerosis.