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Engeletin protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury by modulating the VEGF/vasohibin and Ang-1/Tie-2 pathways

Authors: Liu, Hui; Li, Shucui; Xu, Yangyang; Wang, Xin; Ren, Rui; Zhu, Haibo; Zhang, Shuping

Online: http://www.scielo.br/j/bjmbr/a/jHSSXbhCf5qs8fbKGjBVNPx/?lang=en

Issue: Braz J Med Biol Res. 2021 Jul 16;54(10):e11028.


Engeletin is a natural derivative of Smilax glabra rhizomilax that exhibits anti-inflammatory activity and suppresses lipid peroxidation. In the present study, we sought to elucidate the mechanistic basis for the neuroprotective and pro-angiogenic activity of engeltin in a human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) oxygen-glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGD/R) model system and a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rat model of cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury. These analyses revealed that engeletin (10, 20, or 40 mg/kg) was able to reduce the infarct volume, increase cerebral blood flow, improve neurological function, and bolster the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vasohibin-2 (Vash-2), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), phosphorylated human angiopoietin receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (p-Tie2), and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1/CD31) in MCAO rats. Similarly, engeletin (100, 200, or 400 nM) markedly enhanced the migration, tube formation, and VEGF expression of HUVECs in an OGD/R model system, while the VEGF receptor (R) inhibitor axitinib reversed the observed changes in HUVEC tube formation activity and Vash-2, VEGF, and CD31 expression. These data suggested that engeletin exhibited significant neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats, and improved cerebrovascular angiogenesis by modulating the VEGF/vasohibin and Ang-1/Tie-2 pathways.