Crataegus Special Extract WS 1442 Effects on eNOS and microRNA 155.Planta Med. 2018 Oct; 84(15):1094-1100.PM
Increased expression of microRNA 155 (miR-155) results in a decrease in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and impaired endothelial function. Factors that have been shown to increase expression of miR-155 may be mitigated by WS 1442, an extract of hawthorn leaves and flowers (Crataegus special extract) that contains a range of pharmacologically active substances including oligomeric proanthocyanidins and flavonoids. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of WS 1442 on the expression of miR-155 and eNOS in the presence of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were studied after the exposure to TNF-α, with or without simvastatin (positive control) and WS 1442. The expression levels of eNOS, phosphorylated eNOS, and miR-155 in the different HUVEC treatment groups were determined by western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. To evaluate the effect of WS 1442 on the eNOS activity, the medium and intracellular nitrate/nitrite (NO) concentrations were also analyzed using a colorimetric Griess assay kit. The results demonstrated that TNF-α upregulated miR-155 expression and decreased eNOS expression and NO concentrations. WS 1442 also increased miR-155 expression and decreased eNOS expression but, unlike TNF-α, increased phosphorylated eNOS expression and NO concentrations. Surprisingly, WS 1442 increased miR-155 expression; however, WS 1442 mitigated the overall negative effect of miR-155 on decreasing eNOS expression by increasing expression of phosphorylated eNOS and resulting in an increase in NO concentrations. In the setting where miR-155 may be expressed, WS 1442 may offer vascular protection by increasing the expression of phosphorylated eNOS.