Purpose: Functional impairment of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) is frequently observed in patients with diabetic vascular complications. Astragaloside IV (ASV) has a significant protective effect against vascular endothelial dysfunction. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the role of ASV on oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced EPCs dysfunction and its potential mechanisms.
Methods: EPCs were isolated from the peripheral blood of mice and treated with different concentration of ASV (10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 200 µM). ox-LDL was served as a stimulus for cell model. The proliferation and migration, and improved tube formation ability of EPCs were determined. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the levels of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) were measured. The expression oflectin-like oxidized LDL receptor (LOX-1) andNod-like receptor nucleotide-binding domain leucine rich repeat containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome were detected by Western blot analysis.
Results: We found ASV treatment alleviated ox-LDL-induced cellular dysfunction, as evidenced by promoted proliferation and migration, and improved tube formation ability. Besides, ASV treatment significantly suppressed ox-LDL-induced ROS production and the levels of inflammatory cytokines. ASV inhibited ox-LDL-induced expression of LOX-1 in a concentration-dependent manner. Overexpression of LOX-1 in EPCs triggered NLRP3inflammasome activation, while inhibition of LOX-1 or treatment with ASV suppressed ox-LDL-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Furthermore, overexpression of LOX-1 in ox-LDL-induced EPCs furtherly impaired cellular function, which could be ameliorated by ASV treatment.
Conclusion: Our study showed that ASV may protect EPCs against ox-LDL-induced dysfunction via LOX-1/NLRP3 pathway.