Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Naringenin inhibits TNF-α induced VSMC proliferation and migration via induction of HO-1.

PMID 22709785


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and migration, which is triggered by various inflammatory stimuli, contributes importantly to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Naringenin is a citrus flavonoid with both lipid-lowering and insulin-like properties. Here, we investigated whether naringenin affects TNF-α-induced VSMC proliferation and migration and if so, whether heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is involved. Rat VSMCs were treated with naringenin alone or in combination of TNF-α stimulation. We found that naringenin induced HO-1 mRNA and protein levels, as well as its activity, in VSMCs. Naringenin inhibited TNF-α-induced VSMC proliferation and migration in a dose-dependent manner. Mechanistic study demonstrated that naringenin prevented ERK/MAPK and Akt phosphorylation while left p38 MAPK and JNK unchanged. Naringenin also blocked the increase of ROS generation induced by TNF-α. More importantly, the specific HO-1 inhibitor ZnPP IX or HO-1 siRNA partially abolished the beneficial effects of naringenin on VSMCs. These results suggest that naringenin may serve as a novel drug in the treatment of these pathologies by inducing HO-1 expression/activity and subsequently decreasing VSMC proliferation and migration.