2015 Volume 9 Issue 5 Pages 315-324
Oleanolic acid (3β-hydroxyolean-12-en-28-oic acid, OA) is a naturally-occurring triterpenoid with various promising pharmacological properties. The present study was conducted to determine the protective effects of OA against oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) induced endothelial cell apoptosis and the possible underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that ox-LDL significantly decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). OA in the co-treatment showed a protective effect against ox-LDL induced loss in cell viability and an increase in apoptosis, which was associated with the modulating effect of OA on ox-LDL induced hypoxia-inducible factor 1α(HIF-1α) expression. Moreover, our results showed that the modulating effect of OA against ox-LDL induced HIF-1α expression was obtained via inhibition of lipoprotein receptor 1 (LOX-1)/reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling. Collectively, we suggested that the protective effect of OA against ox-LDL induced HUVEC apoptosis might, at least in part, be obtained via inhibition of the LOX-1/ROS/HIF-1α signaling pathway.