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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Luosha Zhao.

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Qin, X., Qiu, C. & Zhao, L. Maslinic acid protects vascular smooth muscle cells from oxidative stress through Akt/Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. Mol Cell Biochem 390, 61–67 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-013-1956-4

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Keywords

  • Maslinic acid
  • VSMC
  • Nrf2
  • Oxidative stress