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Zhuowen Jia, Liping An, Yanhong Lu, Chaorui Xu, Sha Wang, Jipeng Wang, Xiane Teng
(Department of Geriatric Cardiology, Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:9836-9843
Atherosclerosis is a chronic and multifactorial disease, and it is the main reason of coronary heart disease, cerebral infarction, and peripheral vascular disease, which leads to the formation of lesions in arterial blood vessels. Our study aimed to explore the protective effect and its underlying mechanism of atorvastatin (ATV) on oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced atherosclerosis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured and pretreated with ox-LDL to establish an in vitro atherosclerotic cell model. Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, TUNEL staining, and Transwell assay were used to detect the cell activity, apoptosis, and migration in HUVECs. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot were applied to measure the mRNA and protein expressions of adhesion-related genes in HUVECs.
RESULTS: Pretreated with 100 mg/L ox-LDL resulted in a 57.23% decrease of cell viability and 81.09% increase of apoptotic injury in HUVECs compare to the control. Meanwhile, ox-LDL pretreatment increased the cell migration and the expression of miR-26a-5p in HUVECs. ATV treatment could effectively reverse the cellular damage induced by ox-LDL, decrease the release of adhesion-related molecules, and downregulate the expression of miR-26a-5p by 44.79% in HUVECs. Moreover, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) was demonstrated to be the target gene of miR-26a-5p.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight that ATV protects against ox-LDL-induced downregulation of cell viability, upregulation of cell apoptosis, migration, as well as the release of adhesion-related molecules in HUVECs through the miR-26a-5p/PTEN axis. This study provides new insights into the underlying mechanism of ATV therapeutic potential in atherosclerosis, and also provides a new strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis.