Quercetin exerts multiple inhibitory effects
on vascular smooth muscle cells: role of ERK1/2,
cell-cycle regulation, and matrix metalloproteinase-9
- Alternative Author(s)
- Kwon, Taeg Kyu
- Publication Year
- The French paradox has been attributed to the antioxidant properties of flavonoids present in the red wine. Quercetin, a bioflanoid present in the human diet, is known to inhibit angiotensin II-induced hypertrophy and serum-induced smooth muscle cell proliferation. However, it is not known whether quercetin exerts similar cardioprotective effects in cells treated with TNF-α. In this study, we investigated whether quercetin exerts the multiple suppressive effects on cytokine TNF-α-induced human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC). Treatment of quercetin showed potent inhibitory effects on the DNA synthesis of cultured HASMC in the presence of TNF-α. These inhibitory effects were associated with reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 activity and G1 cell-cycle arrest. Treatment of quercetin, which induced a cell-cycle block in G1-phase, induced down-regulation of cyclins and CDKs and up-regulation of the CDK inhibitor p21 expression, whereas up-regulation of p27 or p53 by quercetin was not observed. Because anti-atherogenic effects need not be limited to antiproliferation, we decided to examine whether quercetin exerted inhibitory effects on matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity in TNF-α-induced HASMC. Quercetin inhibited TNF-α-induced MMP-9 secretion on HASMC in a dose-dependent manner. This inhibition was characterized by down-regulation of MMP-9, which was transcriptionally regulated at NF-κB site and activation protein-1 (AP-1) site in the MMP-9 promoter. These findings indicate the efficacy of quercetin in inhibiting cell proliferation, G1- to S-phase cell-cycle progress, and MMP-9 expression through the transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 on TNF-α-induced HASMC.
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