Chinese journal of integrative medicine

Panax notoginseng saponins inhibits atherosclerotic plaque angiogenesis by down-regulating vascular endothelial growth factor and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunit 4 expression.

PMID 24599820


To investigate the mechanism of Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS), an effective component extracted from Panax notoginseng, on atherosclerotic plaque angiogenesis in atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE-KO) mice fed with high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Twenty ApoE-KO mice were divided into two groups, the model group and the PNS group. Ten normal C57BL/6J mice were used as a control group. PNS (60 mg/kg) was orally administered daily for 12 weeks in the PNS group. The ratio of plaque area to vessel area was examined by histological staining. The tissue sample of aortic root was used to detect the CD34 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression areas by immunohistochemistry. The expression of VEGF and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunit 4 (NOX4) were measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting respectively. After treatment with PNS, the plaque areas were decreased (P<0.05). CD34 expressing areas and VEGF expression areas in plaques were significantly decreased (P<0.05). Meanwhile, VEGF and NOX4 mRNA expression were decreased after treatment with PNS. VEGF and NOX4 protein expression were also decreased by about 72% and 63%, respectively (P<0.01). PNS, which decreases VEGF and NOX4 expression, could alleviate plaque angiogenesis and attenuate atherosclerosis.