The pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases is complex and may involve oxidative stress-related pathways. Eriodictyol is a flavonoid present in citrus fruits that demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neurotrophic, and antioxidant effects in a range of pathophysiological conditions including vascular diseases. Because oxidative stress plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, the present study was designed to verify whether eriodictyol has therapeutic potential. Upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a phase II detoxifying enzyme, in endothelial cells is considered to be helpful in cardiovascular disease. In this study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with eriodictyol showed the upregulation of HO-1 through extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK)/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling pathways. Further, eriodictyol treatment provided protection against hydrogen peroxide-provoked cell death. This protective effect was eliminated by treatment with a specific inhibitor of HO-1 and RNA interference-mediated knockdown of HO-1 expression. These data demonstrate that eriodictyol induces ERK/Nrf2/ARE-mediated HO-1 upregulation in human endothelial cells, which is directly associated with its vascular protection against oxidative stress-related endothelial injury, and propose that targeting the upregulation of HO-1 is a promising approach for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular disease.
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Cell death
- Endothelial cells
- Heme oxygenase-1
- Oxidative stress