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J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Nov 24;108(2):217-22. Epub 2006 May 16.

Protective effect of tanshinone IIA on human umbilical vein endothelial cell injured by hydrogen peroxide and its mechanism.

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Department of Pharmacology, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xi'an, Shaanxi, PR China.


Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA) is isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza, the root of which is widely used as a traditional Chinese medicine to treat atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the putative protective effect of Tan IIA in a human umbilical vein endothelial cell line (ECV-304) injured by hydrogen peroxide in vitro and the mechanism of its protection. The percentage of cell viability was evaluated by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The endothelial cell apoptosis and expression of cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40) were detected by flow cytometric analysis. Preincubation with Tan IIA significantly increased the viability of ECV-304 cell injured by hydrogen peroxide, which was accompanied with the increased nitric oxide level and superoxide dismutase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, cell apoptosis and CD40 expression were decreased in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, our data suggests that Tan IIA protects ECV-304 cell damage induced by hydrogen peroxide through its anti-oxidant effect and CD40 anti-inflammatory approach.

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