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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Nov 9;59(21):11483-90. doi: 10.1021/jf2024819. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate suppresses proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by high glucose by inhibition of PKC and ERK1/2 signalings.

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Department of Nutrition, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400042 People's Republic of China.


Proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an important role in the development and progression of diabetes-related vascular complications. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major catechin derived from green tea, is able to exert antidiabetes effects in animal models. However, it is not known whether or not EGCG inhibits VSMC proliferation induced by high glucose. This study tested the hypothesis that EGCG might have an inhibitory effect on VSMC proliferation induced by high glucose. VSMC proliferation was determined by [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation and uptake of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 phosphorylation was determined by immunoblotting, and ERK 1/2 activity was detected by measuring the ability to phosphorylate its substrate Elk-1. Glucose increased VSMC proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner, which was reduced in the presence of EGCG. VSMC proliferation mediated by high glucose (30 mM) was involved in protein kinase C (PKC) and ERK1/2 signalings, because its effect was blocked by PKC inhibitor (PKC inhibitor 19-31) and ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059). Pretreatment of VSMCs with EGCG significantly inhibited the stimulatory effect of high glucose on PKC and ERK1/2 activation, followed by attenuation of its downstream transcription factor Elk-1 phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggest that EGCG could suppress VSMC proliferation induced by high glucose by inhibition of PKC and ERK1/2 signalings in VSMCs, which indicates that EGCG might be a possible medicine to reduce vascular complications in diabetes.

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