Dipyridamole contributes to its beneficial effects on inflammatory responses in many cell types. The anti-inflammatory mechanisms of dipyridamole on glomerular mesangial cells are mostly uncharacterized. In this study, we monitored the influence of dipyridamole on the expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in rat mesangial cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Dipyridamole was found to inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced COX-2 and MCP-1 expression, and reduced lipopolysaccharide-induced reactive oxygen species generation in rat mesangial cells. This inhibitory effect of dipyridamole is independent on cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP increase. Tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPP), a heme oxygenase-1(HO-1) inhibitor, blocked the inhibitory effect of dipyridamole on lipopolysaccharide- induced COX-2 and MCP-1 expression. By applying specific inhibitors in rat mesangial cells, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways were demonstrated to be involved in the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses, and were inhibited by SnPP and N-acetylcysteine treatment. Additionally, dipyridamole was also found to upregulate HO-1 in rat mesangial cells. Therefore, our data suggest that dipyridamole inhibits the expression of COX-2 and MCP-1 in lipopolysaccharide-treated rat mesangial cells via HO-1-mediated reactive oxygen species reduction.
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