Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 390, Issue 1–2, pp 61–67 | Cite as

Maslinic acid protects vascular smooth muscle cells from oxidative stress through Akt/Nrf2/HO-1 pathway

  • Xiaofei Qin
  • Chunguang Qiu
  • Luosha ZhaoEmail author


Maslinic acid (MA) is a natural triterpenoid widely distributed in edible and medicinal plants and has been demonstrated to possess bioactivity. However, its effect on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) has not been explored yet. In this study, we found that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression was increased in VSMCs treated with MA. Furthermore, MA was found to induce Akt activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Wortmannin suppression of Akt was able to abolish HO-1 upregulation in VSMCs, suggesting the requirement of Akt activation for MA effect on HO-1. Further investigation indicated that Akt activation resulted in the elevated expression of Nrf2, a HO-1 promoter, in MA-treated VMSCs. Finally, we found that MA was able to protect VSMCs from oxidative stress induced by H2O2. Blocking the activation of Akt/Nrf2/HO-1 was able to compromise the protective effect of MA on VSMCs. Collectively, we provided evidence that MA protected VMSCs from oxidative stress through Akt/Nrf2/HO-1 pathway.


Maslinic acid VSMC Nrf2 Oxidative stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CardiologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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