Kaempferol regulates OPN–CD44 pathway to inhibit the atherogenesis of apolipoprotein E deficient mice

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Abstract

Recent studies show that osteopontin (OPN) and its receptor cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44) are two pro-inflammatory cytokines contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to explore the inhibitory effect of kaempferol, a naturally occurring flavonoid compound, on atherogenesis and the mechanisms involved. The experiments were performed in aorta and plasma from C57BL/6J control and apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE−/−) mice treated or not with kaempferol (50 or 100 mg/kg, intragastrically) for 4 weeks. Kaempferol treatment decreased atherosclerotic lesion area, improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, and increased the maximal relaxation value concomitantly with decrease in the half-maximum effective concentration, plasma OPN level, aortic OPN expression, and aortic CD44 expression in ApoE−/− mice. In addition, treatment with kaempferol also significantly decreased reactive oxygen species production in mice aorta. The present results suggest that kaempferol regulates OPN–CD44 pathway to inhibit the atherogenesis of ApoE−/− mice.

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