Notoginsenoside R1 inhibits TNF-α-induced fibronectin production in smooth muscle cells via the ROS/ERK pathway

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The matrix fibronectin protein plays an important role in vascular remodeling. Notoginsenoside R1 is the main ingredient with cardiovascular activity in Panax notoginseng; however, its molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We report that notoginsenoside R1 significantly decreased TNF-α-induced activation of fibronectin mRNA, protein levels, and secretion in human arterial smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) in a dose-dependent manner. Notoginsenoside R1 scavenged hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in a dose-dependent manner in the test tube. TNF-α significantly increased intracellular ROS generation and then ERK activation, which was blocked by notoginsenoside R1 or DPI and apocynin, inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, or the antioxidant NAC. Our data demonstrated that TNF-α-induced upregulation of fibronectin mRNA and protein levels occurs via activation of ROS/ERK, which was prevented by treatment with notoginsenoside R1, DPI, apocynin, NAC, or MAPK/ERK inhibitors PD098059 and U0126. Notoginsenoside R1 significantly inhibited H2O2-induced upregulation of fibronectin mRNA and protein levels and secretion; it also significantly inhibited TNF-α and H2O2-induced migration. These results suggest that notoginsenoside R1 inhibits TNF-α-induced ERK activation and subsequent fibronectin overexpression and migration in HASMCs by suppressing NADPH oxidase-mediated ROS generation and directly scavenging ROS.

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