Pollen Typhae Total Flavone Inhibits Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Induced Apoptosis in Human Aortic-Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells through Down-Regulating PERK-eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP Pathway

  • Ming-tai Chen
  • Ruo-lan Huang
  • Li-jun Ou
  • Ying-nan Chen
  • Ling Men
  • Xiao Chang
  • Ling Wang
  • Yu-zhu Yang
  • Zhong ZhangEmail author
Original Article



To test the hypothesis that the inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptosis in oxidized low-density lipoproteins (ox-LDL)-induced human aortic-vascular smooth muscle cells (HA-VSMCs) was associated with suppression of the protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK)-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α)-activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) signaling pathway by Pollen Typhae total flavone (PTF).


Primary HA-VSMCs were cultured and identified. The cultured HA-VSMCs were randomized into 5 groups, including a normal control group, an ox-LDL group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL), an HPTF group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+500 μg/mL PTF), an MPTF group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+250 μg/mL PTF), and a LPTF group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+100 μg/mL PTF) in the first part; and a normal control group, an ox-LDL group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL), an MPTF group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+250 μg/mL PTF), a shRNA group (transducted with PERK shRNA lentiviral particles), a scramble shRNA group (transducted with control shRNA lentiviral particles), an MPTF+ox-LDL+shRNA group (250 μg/mL PTF+70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+PERK shRNA lentiviral particles) and an ox-LDL+shRNA group (70 μg/mL high ox-LDL+PERK shRNA lentiviral particles) in the second part. The protein expression levels of ER-associated apoptosis proteins were detected by Western blot, and their mRNA expression levels were detected by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was applied to test cell viability, and the level of apoptosis was monitored by flow cytometry.


The MTT assay and flow cytometry showed that the ox-LDL group had a significant increase in apoptosis, which was attenuated in PTF treatment groups and shRNA groups. Moreover, the ox-LDL group had increased protein and mRNA levels of binding immunoglobulin protein and ER-associated apoptosis proteins, such as PERK, eIF2α, ATF4 and CHOP, which were attenuated in PTF treatment groups and shRNA groups.


The apoptosis induced by ox-LDL had a strong relation to ER stress. The protective effect of PTF on ER stressinduced apoptosis was associated with inhibition of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP pathway, which might be a potential therapeutic strategy for enhancing the stability of atherosclerotic plaques.


Pollen Typhae total flavone endoplasmic reticulum stress protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α-activating transcription factor 4-CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein pathway apoptosis vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque 


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Supplementary material

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Appendix 1. Primary Culture and Identification of HA-VSMCs


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming-tai Chen
    • 1
  • Ruo-lan Huang
    • 1
  • Li-jun Ou
    • 1
  • Ying-nan Chen
    • 1
  • Ling Men
    • 1
  • Xiao Chang
    • 1
  • Ling Wang
    • 1
  • Yu-zhu Yang
    • 1
  • Zhong Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department, Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine HospitalGuangzhou University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShenzhenChina

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