Previous studies have established that red mold rice can regulate blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and that Monascus-fermented products, including monacolin K, ankaflavin (AF), and monascin (MS), can inhibit expression of adhesion factors such as E-selectin and endothelin-1 to prevent human acute monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 monocytes from adhering to human aortic endothelial cells. However, it remains unknown whether AF and MS act directly on human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) to enhance nitric oxide (NO) synthesis through the stimulation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression. To address this knowledge gap, this study investigated whether AF and MS directly regulate NO synthesis and attenuate adhesion factor expression induced by treatment with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in HUVECs. The results revealed that both AF and MS (20 μM) treatments promoted increases in eNOS expression and decreases in vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, and endothelin-1 mRNA and protein expression resulting from 12 h of TNF-α treatment. These effects are attributed to the ability of AF and MS to inhibit extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) translocation from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, thereby exerting antihypertensive activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)