Previous studies have shown that vascular endothelium-derived matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) contribute to the destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques, a key event triggering acute myocardial infarction. In addition, studies have reported that the PKC-MEK-PPAR-γ signaling pathway is involved in oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-induced expression of MMPs. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound found in fruits and nuts, has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancerous properties. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its antiatherogenic effects remain to be clarified. This study aimed to assess whether the effects of ellagic acid on the fibrotic markers MMP-1 andMMP-3 are modulated by the PKC-ERK-PPAR-γ signaling pathway in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) that have been exposed to oxLDL. It was found that ellagic acid significantly inhibited oxLDL-induced expressions of MMP-1 and MMP-3. Pretreatment with ellagic acid and DPI, a well-known ROS inhibitor, attenuated the oxLDL-induced expression and activity of PKC-α. In addition, ellagic acid as well as pharmacological inhibitors of ROS, calcium, and PKC strongly suppressed the oxLDL-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and NF-κB activation. Moreover, ellagic acid ameliorated the oxLDL-induced suppression of PPAR-γ expression. In conclusion, the data suggest that ellagic acid elicits its protective effects by modulating the PKC-α/ERK/PPAR-γ/ NF-κB pathway, resulting in the suppression of ROS generation and, ultimately, inhibition of MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression in HUVECs exposed to oxLDL.
- Atherosclerotic plaques
- Ellagic acid
- Matrix metalloproteinases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)