Puerarin inhibits cardiac fibrosis via monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and the transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) pathway in myocardial infarction mice.
Am J Transl Res. 2016 ;8(10):4425-4433. Epub 2016 Oct 15. PMID: 27830026
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and inflammation play important roles in the cardiac fibrosis development associated with myocardial infarction (MI). Puerarin is wildly used for treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease in China, and recently some studies have shown its anti-cardiac fibrotic effect on myocardial hypertrophy. The purpose of our study was to determine whether puerarin has an anti-cardiac fibrotic effect after MI and find the potential mechanism. A mouse model of MI was established by standard LAD coronary artery ligation, and cardiac fibrosis was confirmed by Masson's staining and the expression of collagen I, III and α-SMA. The expression level of F4/80 (macrophage/monocyte marker in mouse), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and TGF-β1 in cardiac tissue treated with or without puerarin was evaluated by immunohistochemistry analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The downstream protein phospho-Smad (small mother against decapentaplegic) 2/3 was evaluated by westernblot. The results displayed that puerarin could inhibit the recruitment and activation of monocytes/macrophages, decrease the expression of TGF-β1 in the cardiac tissues, and consequently significantly attenuated cardiac fibrosis after MI. Our results also displayed a strong positive correlation between MCP-1 and TGF-β1 expression in MI. Thus, this study revealed the mechanism by which prevented cardiac fibrosis after MI through a decrease in MCP-1 expression and an inhibition TGF-β1 pathway, and indicated puerarin could be a potential agent in attenuating MI-induced cardiac fibrosis.