Elevated plasma concentration of total homocysteine is a pathological condition that causes vascular endothelial injury and subsequently leads to the progression of endothelial apoptosis in atherosclerosis. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a well-known anti-oxidant in green tea, has been reported with benefits on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed to explore that EGCG ameliorates homocysteine-induced endothelial cell apoptosis through enhancing the sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)/AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) survival signaling pathway. Human umbilical endothelial cells were treated with homocysteine in the presence or absence of EGCG. We found that EGCG significantly increased the activities of SIRT1 and AMPK. EGCG diminished homocysteine-mediated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activation by inhibiting protein kinase C activation as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and recovered the activity of the endogenous antioxidant enzyme, superoxidase dismutase (SOD). Besides, EGCG also restores homocysteine-mediated dephosphorylation of Akt and decreases endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) expression. Furthermore, EGCG ameliorates homocysteine-activated pro-apoptotic events. The present study shows that EGCG prevents homocysteine-induced endothelial cell apoptosis via enhancing SIRT1/AMPK as well as Akt/eNOS signaling pathways. Results from this study indicated that EGCG might have some benefits for hyperhomocysteinemia.
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