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  • Qihuang Zhuyu Formula Attenuates Atherosclerosis via Targeting PPARγ to Regulate Cholesterol Efflux and Endothelial Cell Inflammation.

Qihuang Zhuyu Formula Attenuates Atherosclerosis via Targeting PPARγ to Regulate Cholesterol Efflux and Endothelial Cell Inflammation.

Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity (2022-12-16)
Mengxi Wang, Qian Xiang, Weixin Sun, Haowen Zhang, Ruijie Shi, Jun Guo, Huaqin Tong, Manlu Fan, Yuhan Ding, Haibo Shi, Peng Yu, Le Shen, Qiong Wang, Xiaohu Chen
ABSTRACT

At present, due to the limitations of drug therapy targets for atherosclerosis, some patients fail to achieve satisfactory efficacy. Cholesterol efflux dysfunction and endothelial cell inflammation are considered to be important factors in the development of atherosclerosis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a promising therapeutic target for atherosclerosis, plays a dual role in regulating cholesterol efflux and endothelial cell inflammation. However, the use of PPARγ agonist in clinical practice is greatly limited as it could lead to water and sodium retention and hence result in congestive heart failure. Qihuang Zhuyu Formula (QHZYF) is a hospital preparation of Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine which has definite effect in the treatment of atherosclerosis, but its pharmacological mechanism has not been clear. In this study, we successfully predicted that QHZYF might regulate cholesterol efflux and endothelial inflammation via targeting PPARγ-mediated PPARγ/LXRα/ABCA1-ABCG1 and PPARγ/NF-κB p65 pathways by using UPLC-Q-TOF/MS, network pharmacology, bioinformatics analysis, and molecular docking technology. Subsequently, we confirmed in vivo that QHZYF could attenuate atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice and regulate the expression levels of related molecules in PPARγ/LXRα/ABCA1-ABCG1 and PPARγ/NF-κB p65 pathways of ApoE-/- mice and C57BL/6 wild-type mice. Finally, in in vitro experiments, we found that QHZYF could reduce lipid content and increase cholesterol efflux rate of RAW 264.7 cells, inhibit the inflammatory response of HUVECs, and regulate the expression levels of related molecules in the two pathways. In addition, the above effects of QHZYF were significantly weakened after PPARγ knockdown in the two kinds of cells. In conclusion, our study revealed that QHZYF attenuates atherosclerosis via targeting PPARγ-mediated PPARγ/LXRα/ABCA1-ABCG1 and PPARγ/NF-κB p65 pathways to regulate cholesterol efflux and endothelial cell inflammation. More importantly, our study offers a promising complementary and alternative therapy which is expected to make up for the limitation of current drug treatment methods and provide a valuable reference for new drugs development in the future.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Apolipoprotein A-I, Human Plasma, High-Density Lipoprotein, Native apolipoprotein A-I from human plasma. Functions as a cofactor for lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase. A component of high density lipoprotein.