Acta pharmacologica Sinica

Vam3, a resveratrol dimer, inhibits cigarette smoke-induced cell apoptosis in lungs by improving mitochondrial function.

PMID 24747163


To investigate the effects of Vam3 (a resveratrol dimer extracted from Vitis amurensis Rupr) on cigarette smoke (CS)-induced cell apoptosis in lungs in vitro and in vivo and the underlying mechanisms of action. Human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B was exposed to cigarette smoke condensate (CSC, 300 mg/L), and cell apoptosis was determined using flow cytometry and Hoechst staining. Mitochondrial membrane potential was examined with TMRE staining. ROS and ceramide levels were detected with DCFH-DA fluorescence and HPLC-MS/MS, respectively. Cytochrome c release was detected using immunofluorescence. Caspase-9 and neutral sphingomyelinase 2 expression was measured with Western blotting. The breast carcinoma cell line MCF7 stably expressing GFP-tagged Bax was used to elucidate the role of mitochondria in CS-induced apoptosis. For in vivo study, male mice were exposed to CS for 5 min twice a day for 4 weeks. The mice were orally administered Vam3 (50 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) or resveratrol (30 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) each day 1 h before the first CS exposure. Pretreatment of BEAS-2B cells with Vam3 (5 μmol/L) or resveratrol (5 μmol/L) significantly suppressed CSC-induced apoptosis, and prevented CSC-induced Bax level increase in the mitochondria, mitochondrial membrane potential loss, cytochrome c release and caspase-9 activation. Furthermore, pretreatment of BEAS-2B cells with Vam3 or resveratrol significantly suppressed CSC-stimulated intracellular ceramide production, and CSC-induced upregulation of neutral sphingomyelinase 2, the enzyme responsible for ceramide production in bronchial epithelial cells. Similar results were obtained in C6-pyridinium ceramide-induced apoptosis of GFP-Bax-stable MCF7 cells in vitro, and in the lungs of CS-exposed mice that were treated with oral administration of Vam3 or resveratrol. Vam3 protects bronchial epithelial cells from CS-induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo by preventing mitochondrial dysfunction.