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Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jul;193(1):20-7. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

Mulberry leaf aqueous fractions inhibit TNF-alpha-induced nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation and lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) expression in vascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Applied Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan.


Mulberry (Morus Alba L., family Moraceae) leaf extracts have various biological effects including inhibition of oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the major cause of atherosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction elicited by oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL) has been implicated in atherogenesis. Lectin-like Ox-LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1), a cell-surface receptor for atherogenic Ox-LDL, appears to mediate Ox-LDL-induced inflammation, which may be crucial in atherogenesis. Previous studies revealed that expression of LOX-1 is highly inducible by proinflammatory stimuli, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Therefore, we examined whether mulberry leaf aqueous fractions inhibit LOX-1 expression induced by proinflammatory stimuli. Pretreatment of cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) with mulberry leaf aqueous fractions inhibited TNF-alpha- and LPS-induced expression of LOX-1 at both protein and mRNA levels in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, mulberry leaf aqueous fractions did not affect TGF-beta-induced LOX-1 expression. Furthermore, mulberry leaf aqueous fractions inhibited TNF-alpha-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and phosphorylation of inhibitory factor of NF-kappaB-alpha (IkappaB-alpha) in a time- and concentration-dependent fashion. Thus, mulberry leaf aqueous fractions suppress TNF-alpha- and LPS-induced LOX-1 gene expression, by inhibiting NF-kappaB activation.

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