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ASSA13-03-13 Inhibitory Effects of Vinpocetine on the Progression of Atherosclerosis Are Mediated by Akt/NF-kB Dependent Mechanisms
  1. Zhuang Jianhui1,
  2. Peng Wenhui1,
  3. Li Hailing1,
  4. Lu Yuyan1,
  5. Wang Ke1,
  6. Li Ying1,
  7. Fan Fan2,
  8. Xu Yawei1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Eye & Ent Hospital, Fudan University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China


Objective Recent studies have found additional role for vinpocetine, a potent phosphodiesterase type I inhibitor, in anti-proliferation and anti-inflammation of vascular smooth muscle cells and cancer cells via different mechanisms. In this study, we attempted to investigate whether vinpocetine protected against atherosclerotic development in apoE-/- mice and explore the underlying anti-atherogenic mechanisms in macrophages.

Methods and Results Vinpocetine markedly decreased atherosclerotic lesion size in apoE-/- mice measured by oil red O. Masson’s trichrome staining and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that vinpocetine significantly increased the thickness of fibrous cap, reduced the size of lipid-rich necrotic core and attenuated the expression of TNF-alpha and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) within plaque area. In vitro experiments exhibited a significant decrease in monocyte adhension treated with vinpocetine. In parallel with few changes in ox-LDL uptake and foam cell formation, the expression levels of scavenger receptor A and CD 36 were not altered after treatment with vinpocetine. Further, active TNF-alpha, IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and MMP-9 expression induced by ox-LDL was attenuated by vinpocetine in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, ox-LDL-induced reactive oxygen species were significantly repressed by vinpocetine. Both western blot and luciferase activity assay showed that vinpocetine restored the enhanced Akt, IKK-alpha/beta, IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activity induced by ox-LDL. Cotreatment with LY294002, a specific Akt inhibitor, augmented the inhibitory effects of vinpocetine on IKK-alpha/beta and IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation, suggesting that inhibition of NF-kappaB activity was partly caused by Akt dephosphorylation. Knockdown of PDE1B resulted in an increase of intracellular cGMP contents, however, did not affect Akt, IKK-alpha/beta and IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation.

Conclusions Vinpocetine exerts anti-atherogenic effects through inhibition of monocyte adhension, oxidative stress and inflammatory response, which are mediated by Akt/NF-kappaB dependent pathway but independent of PDE1 blockade in macrophages.

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