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Ruscogenin alleviates palmitic acid-induced endothelial cell inflammation by suppressing TXNIP/NLRP3 pathway

Hongtao Liu
Simin Zheng
Hongfei Xiong
Xiaoli Niu


Purpose: To investigate the involvement of ruscogenin in palmitic acid (PA)-induced endothelial cell inflammation.

Method: Cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were divided into five groups: control (normal untreated cells), PA (cell treated with palmitic acid), and PA + ruscogenin (1, 10, or 30 μM). Cell viability and apoptosis rate were determined using MTT (3-(4,5)-dimethylthiahiazo(-z-y1)-3,5- di-phenytetrazolium bromide) and flow cytometry assays, respectively. The levels of cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of action.

Results: PA treatment decreased the viability of HUVECs and induced apoptosis (p < 0.05). Ruscogenin attenuated PA-induced cell death in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05). On the other hand, PA induced an increase in IL-1β, TNF-α, ICAM-1, MCP-1, TXNIP (thioredoxin-interacting protein),
as well as NLRP3 (nucleotide oligomerization domain-, leucine-rich repeat- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3), all of which were attenuated by ruscogenin (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Ruscogenin alleviates PA-induced endothelial cell inflammation via TXNIP/NLRP3 pathway, thereby providing an insight into new therapeutic strategies to treat cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Ruscogenin, Palmitic acid, Endothelial cells, Inflammation, TXNIP, NLRP3, Cardiovascular diseases

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996