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Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019 Feb 11;13:601-609. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S182087. eCollection 2019.

Emodin induces apoptosis and autophagy of fibroblasts obtained from patient with ankylosing spondylitis.

Author information

1
Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100010, People's Republic of China, macong_bhtcm@126.com.

Abstract

Background:

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of rheumatoid disease, which has been reported to be associated with the excessive proliferation of fibroblasts recently. Emodin, a single component from a traditional Chinese medicine Rheum palmatum, exerts anti-inflammation and antirheumatic arthritis activities. However, could emodin be used to treat AS remains unclear? Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effect of emodin on AS.

Methods:

Fibroblasts obtained from patients with AS were used in the current study. In addition, multiple cellular and molecular biology techniques such as Cell Counting Kit-8, Western blotting, flow cytometry, monodansylcadaverine staining, and immunofluorescence assay were applied as well.

Results:

Emodin-induced apoptosis of fibroblasts obtained from patient with AS via increasing active caspase-9, active caspase-3, and Bax levels and downregulating Bcl-2. Meanwhile, emodin enhanced autophagy in fibroblasts via upregulation of the expression of Atg12, Atg5, and Beclin 1, which was further confirmed by monodansylcadaverine staining. As expected, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3MA) completely reversed emodin-induced autophagy in fibroblasts. Moreover, 3MA significantly increased emodin-induced apoptosis of fibroblasts obtained from patient with AS by increasing the levels of γH2AX, active caspase-9, active caspase-3, and cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase.

Conclusion:

Our results indicated that emodin effectively induced apoptosis and autophagy of fibroblasts obtained from patient with AS. In addition, suppression of autophagy enhanced emodin-induced apoptosis in fibroblasts. Therefore, we proposed that combination of emodin with autophagy inhibitor might be a potent strategy for improving the symptoms of AS in the future.

KEYWORDS:

3MA; ankylosing spondylitis; apoptosis; autophagy; emodin

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