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International journal of cardiology

Dietary ellagic acid improves oxidant-induced endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis: role of Nrf2 activation.


PMID 25017906

Abstract

Oxidative stress-induced vascular endothelial cell injury is a major factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Several evidences indicate that ellagic acid (EA), a phenolic compound, contributes to cardiovascular health. This study was to investigate the effects of EA on endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis via antioxidant-related mechanisms. In animal studies, wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and apolipoprotein E-deficient mice (ApoE(-/-)) mice were fed: a high-fat (21%) diet (HFD) or a HFD plus with EA (HFD+EA), for 14weeks. Vascular reactivity was studied in mice aortas. The effect of EA in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HAECs) exposed to hypochlorous acid (HOCl) was also investigated. Compared with animals on HFD alone, EA attenuated atherosclerosis in WT mice. In aortic rings from two mice models, EA significantly improved endothelium-dependent relaxation and attenuated HOCl-induced endothelial dysfunction. Besides, EA significantly improved nitric oxide synthase activity, antioxidant capacity and markers of endothelial dysfunction in plasma. Western blot analysis showed that EA increased NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1(HO-1) expression in the aortas (P<0.05). In a separate experiment, EA did not protect against HOCl-induced endothelial dysfunction in arteries obtained from Nrf2 gene knockout mice compared with WT mice. In HAECs, EA prevented HOCl-induced cellular damage and induced HO-1 protein expression, and these effects markedly abolished by the siRNA of Nrf2. Our results provide further support for the protective effects of dietary EA particularly oxidant-induced endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis partly via Nrf2 activation.

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