stuff looks really interesting. DGAT inhibition, NO production, antioxidant...looks pretty cool
Nitric oxide (NO) has been proved to be a potent vasodilator that played an important role in regulating vascular tones. Tanshinone, one of the active components of Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza, was used widely in clinics in China for treating cardiovascular diseases. The objective of this study was to sensitively and specifically investigate the effects of tanshinone IIA, one important pharmacological constituent of tanshinone, on the release of NO from human vascular endothelial cells (HVECs) by fluorescence imaging with an excellent fluorescent probe 1,3,5,7-tetramethyl-2,6-dicarbethoxy-8-(3',4'-diaminophenyl)-difluoroboradiaza-s-indacence (TMDCDABODIPY). After cells were incubated with tanshinone IIA, TMDCDABODIPY was employed to label NO. Following the tagging, real-time imaging of NO release from the cells was performed with inverted fluorescence microscope. The results of the experiments showed that tanshinone IIA could induce NO production significantly enhanced in HVECs. The activation of NO by tanshinone IIA may be employed therapeutically in modulating NO production in HVECs.
The inhibitory activity of tanshinones from Salvia miltiorrhiza was tested on rat liver diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT). Cryptotanshinone (1) and 15,16-dihydrotanshinone I (3) exhibited potent DGAT inhibitory activities dose-dependently with IC50 values of 10.5 microg/ml and 11.1 microg/ml. However, tanshinone IIA (2) and tanshinone I (4) showed very weak inhibition (IC50 value: > 250 microg/ml). A dihydrofuran moiety was seemed to be responsible for the stronger inhibitory activity.
Tanshinone IIA is the major antioxidant component in the traditional Chinese medicine Salvia miltiorrhiza. Transcription factor nuclear-factor-E2-related factor (Nrf2) regulates a battery of antioxidant response element (ARE)-regulated genes. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of tanshinone IIA on Nrf2 activation and intracellular redox status in human aortic smooth muscle cells. Tanshinone IIA potentiated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha)-mediated nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 and expression of ARE-related genes, while it reversed TNF-alpha-induced down-regulation of intracellular glutathione (GSH), NADPH and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) levels. Specific silence of Nrf2 by siRNA down-regulated tanshinone IIA-induced Nrf2 activation and increased of intracellular GSH, NADPH and G6PDH levels. Tanshinone IIA-induced Nrf2 activation was association with activation of ERK and PKB, which was prevented by treatment with PD098059 or wortmannin. Tanshinone IIA attenuated TNF-alpha, angiotensin II, H(2)O(2)-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. These results demonstrated that tanshinone IIA-induced Nrf2 activation is the major regulatory pathway of cytoprotective gene expression against oxidative stress via ERK and PKB signaling pathways.