Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2014 - Volume 64 - Issue 2 > Induction of Autophagy by Tongxinluo Through the MEK/ERK Pat...
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology:
doi: 10.1097/FJC.0000000000000104
Original Article

Induction of Autophagy by Tongxinluo Through the MEK/ERK Pathway Protects Human Cardiac Microvascular Endothelial Cells From Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Injury

Cui, Hehe MD, PhD; Li, Xiangdong MD, PhD; Li, Na MD, PhD; Qi, Kang MD, PhD; Li, Qing MD; Jin, Chen MD; Zhang, Qian MD, PhD; Jiang, Leipei MD; Yang, Yuejin MD, PhD

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Abstract: In contrast to cardiomyocytes, autophagy in cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury has not been fully investigated. Tongxinluo (TXL), a traditional Chinese medicine, was shown to be vascular protective. We aimed to elucidate the role of autophagy and its regulatory mechanisms by TXL in CMECs subjected to I/R injury. CMECs were exposed to different treatments for 30 minutes and subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation each for 2 hours. The results indicated that hypoxia/reoxygenation significantly induced autophagy, as identified by an increased number of monodansylcadaverine-positive CMECs, increased autophagosome formation, and a higher type II/type I of light chain 3 ratio, but not Beclin-1 expression. Autophagy inhibition using 3-methyladenine was proapoptotic, but rapamycin-induced autophagy was antiapoptotic. TXL enhanced autophagy and decreased apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, reaching its largest effect at 800 μg/mL. 3-methyladenine attenuated the TXL-promoted autophagy and antiapoptotic effects, whereas rapamycin had no additional effects compared with TXL alone. TXL upregulated mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation; however, PD98059 abrogated ERK phosphorylation and decreased autophagy and increased apoptosis compared with TXL alone. These results suggest that autophagy is a protective mechanism in CMECs subjected to I/R injury and that TXL can promote autophagy through activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK pathway.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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