Abstract: Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) is one of the world’s oldest medicinal plants with multiple health benefits. We have previously shown that artichoke leaf extracts and artichoke flavonoids upregulate the gene expression of endothelial-type nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in human endothelial cells. Whereas NO produced by the eNOS is a vasoprotective molecule, NO derived from the inducible iNOS plays a pro-inflammatory role in the vasculature. The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of artichoke on iNOS expression in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC). Incubation of HCASMC with a cytokine mixture led to an induction of iNOS mRNA expression. This iNOS induction was concentration- and time-dependently inhibited by an artichoke leaf extract (1–100 µg/mL, 6 h or 24 h). Consistently, the artichoke leaf extract also reduced cytokine-induced iNOS promoter activation and iNOS protein expression. In addition, treatment of HCASMC with four well-known artichoke compounds (cynarin > cyanidin > luteolin ≈ cynaroside) led to a downregulation iNOS mRNA and protein expression, with cynarin being the most potent one. In conclusion, artichoke contains both eNOS-upregulating and iNOS-downregulating compounds. Such compounds may contribute to the beneficial effects of artichoke and may per se have therapeutic potentials.
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Xia, N.; Pautz, A.; Wollscheid, U.; Reifenberg, G.; Förstermann, U.; Li, H. Artichoke, Cynarin and Cyanidin Downregulate the Expression of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Human Coronary Smooth Muscle Cells. Molecules 2014, 19, 3654-3668.
Xia N, Pautz A, Wollscheid U, Reifenberg G, Förstermann U, Li H. Artichoke, Cynarin and Cyanidin Downregulate the Expression of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Human Coronary Smooth Muscle Cells. Molecules. 2014; 19(3):3654-3668.
Xia, Ning; Pautz, Andrea; Wollscheid, Ursula; Reifenberg, Gisela; Förstermann, Ulrich; Li, Huige. 2014. "Artichoke, Cynarin and Cyanidin Downregulate the Expression of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Human Coronary Smooth Muscle Cells." Molecules 19, no. 3: 3654-3668.