Human Cell

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 22–30 | Cite as

Icariin ameliorates angiotensin II-induced cerebrovascular remodeling by inhibiting Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase activation

  • Huanhuan Dong
  • Shuping Ming
  • Jie Fang
  • Yun Li
  • Ling Liu
Research Article


Cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) hyperplasia is an important contributor to cerebrovascular remodeling during hypertension. The aim of present study was to investigate the effects of Icariin on cerebrovascular SMCs proliferation and remodeling and the underlying mechanisms. The results revealed that Icariin administration attenuated the enhanced basilar artery constriction in angiotensin II (AngII)-induced hypertension rat model, as well as the inhibition of basilar artery diameter reduction in response to AngII and phenylephrine. In addition, histological analyses showed that Icariin also significantly ameliorated basilar artery remodeling in AngII hypertensive rats. In human brain vascular SMCs (HBVSMCs), AngII-induced cell proliferation, migration and invasion were markedly inhibited by Icariin treatment. Moreover, Icariin treatment largely limited AngII-induced the increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in HBVSMCs, which was closely associated with cell proliferation. Analysis of the mechanisms showed that Icariin decreased ROS production via inhibiting NADPH oxidase activity but not mitochondria-derived ROS production. Further, Icariin promoted Nox2 degradation and consequently reduced its protein expression. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that Icariin attenuates cerebrovascular SMCs hyperplasia and subsequent remodeling through inhibiting Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase activation, suggesting Icariin may be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent the onset and progression of stroke.


Cerebrovascular remodeling Proliferation Reactive oxygen specie NADPH Nox2 Icariin 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13577_2018_220_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1784 KB)


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Copyright information

© Japan Human Cell Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huanhuan Dong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuping Ming
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yun Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ling Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EncephalopathyHubei Provincial Traditional Chinese Medicine HospitalWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of EncephalopathyHubei Institute of Traditional Chinese MedicineWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of EncephalopathyThe Affiliated Hospital of Hubei University of Traditional Chinese MedicineWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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