OBJECTIVE: Atherosclerosis, a kind of peripheral arterial disease with chronic inflammation, leads to the dysfunction of the vascular system and many other diseases. Hypoxia has been proven to participate in the progression of atherosclerosis, while curcumin can inhibit hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). However, the underlying mechanisms are still elusive.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: qRT-PCR was used to examine the expression of HIF-1α, IL-6 and TNFα of macrophages under hypoxic condition. Western blot was applied to examine the changes of HIF-1α, ERK and p-ERK after treatment with curcumin. Oli Red O staining and enzymatic assay were used to examine the lipid and total cholesterol in macrophages, respectively. ELISA was used to examine the release of IL-6 and TNFα by macrophages. FACS and MTT assays were applied to examine the apoptosis and proliferation of macrophages.
RESULTS: Here, we found curcumin inhibited the expression of HIF-1α at the protein level in macrophages under hypoxic condition and curcumin and HIF-1α inhibitors repressed the total cholesterol and lipid level in macrophage under hypoxic condition. Moreover, curcumin also decreased the expression of HIF-1α downstream genes, VEGF, HMOX1, ROS and PDGF. Then, the data show the HIF-1α-induced apoptosis and inflammation of macrophages were inhibited by curcumin. Curcumin also rescued the proliferation defect of macrophages caused by hypoxia. Furthermore, we found it inhibited the expression of HIF-1α via ERK signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: We describe that curcumin inhibited the HIF-1α-induced apoptosis and inflammation of macrophages via ERK signaling pathways. These results suggest curcumin can be used for the treatment of atherosclerosis.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
S. Ouyang, Y.-H. Yao, Z.-M. Zhang, J.-S. Liu, H. Xiang
Curcumin inhibits hypoxia inducible factor-1α-induced inflammation and apoptosis in macrophages through an ERK dependent pathway
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 4