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Abstract Title:

Tanshinone IIA suppresses cholesterol accumulation in human macrophages: role of heme oxygenase-1.

Abstract Source:

J Lipid Res. 2014 Feb ;55(2):201-13. Epub 2013 Dec 3. PMID: 24302760

Abstract Author(s):

Zhiping Liu, Jiaojiao Wang, Erwen Huang, Si Gao, Hong Li, Jing Lu, Kunming Tian, Peter J Little, Xiaoyan Shen, Suowen Xu, Peiqing Liu

Article Affiliation:

Zhiping Liu

Abstract:

Accumulation of foam cells in the neointima represents a key event in atherosclerosis. We previously demonstrated that Tanshinone IIA (Tan), a lipophilic bioactive compound extracted from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, inhibits experimental atherogenesis, yet the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we sought to explore the potential effects of Tan on lipid accumulation in macrophage foam cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our data indicate that Tan treatment reduced the content of macrophages, cholesterol accumulation, and the development of atherosclerotic plaque in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. In human macrophages, Tan ameliorated oxidized low density lipoporotein (oxLDL)-elicited foam cell formation by inhibiting oxLDL uptake and promoting cholesterol efflux. Mechanistically, Tan markedly reduced the expression of scavenger receptor class A and increased the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1 in lipid-laden macrophages via activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) pathway. Tan treatment induced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and subsequently increased the expression of HO-1, and these effects were abolished by the specific ERK inhibitors, PD98059 and U0126. Moreover, HO-1 small interfering RNA or zinc protoporphyrin (a HO-1 inhibitor) abrogated Tan-mediated suppression of lipid accumulation in macrophages. Our current findings demonstrate that a novel HO-1-dependent mechanism is involved in the regulation of cholesterol balance by Tan.

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