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Vascul Pharmacol. 2018 Oct;109:72-82. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2018.06.007. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Homoeriodictyol protects human endothelial cells against oxidative insults through activation of Nrf2 and inhibition of mitochondrial dysfunction.

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Key Lab of Chemical Biology (MOE), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, PR China.
Key Lab of Chemical Biology (MOE), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, PR China. Electronic address:


Excess intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is a significant causative factor of many diseases, exemplified by vascular diseases. Mitochondria are a major source of endogenous ROS, which simultaneously induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) represents an important intracellular defense system that protects cells against oxidative insults caused by ROS. Therefore, molecules with the capacities of inducing Nrf2, and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction can inhibit cell apoptosis, and thus are potential drug candidates for the therapy of ROS-mediated vascular diseases. Homoeriodictyol (HE), previously isolated from Viscum articulatum Burm, has been found to be an Nrf2 inducer. In the present study, we investigated its protection on ROS-induced endothelial cell injury using a H2O2-induced human umbilical vein EA.hy926 cell oxidative insult model. Our results indicated that HE activated Nrf2 signaling pathway and protected cells against H2O2-induced cell damage. HE alleviated H2O2-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), blocked the releases of cytochrome C and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria, and thus inhibited mitochondria-mediated cell apoptosis. Furthermore, HE inhibited H2O2-induced changes of apoptosis-related proteins, such as Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, caspases -3, -9 and PARP. Further study demonstrated that the protection of HE against H2O2-induced endothelial cell damage was Nrf2-dependent. Collectively, our observations suggest that HE is capable of counteracting oxidative insults in endothelial cells, and has a potential to be a therapeutic agent against ROS-mediated vascular diseases.


Apoptosis; Homoeriodictyol; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Nrf2; Reactive oxygen stress

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