Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is linked to both oxidative stress and endothelial cell dysfunction. Chicoric acid has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In the present investigation, we demonstrated that chicoric acid inhibits oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-facilitated dysfunction in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Oxidative injuries were tested by investigating the formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by examining the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We also confirmed that chicoric acid mitigates apoptotic features caused by oxLDL, such as the subsequent break down of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and the activation of Bax, which promote DNA strand breaks and activate caspase-3. Moreover, our data revealed that chicoric acid attenuated the oxLDL activation of NF-κB, the attachment of THP-1 cells and the overexpression of adhesion molecules in human endothelial cells. The results of this study suggest a potential molecular mechanism through which chicoric acid inhibits oxLDL-induced human endothelial dysfunction.
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