Document Type

Article

Subject Area(s)

Medicine and Health Sciences, Anatomy, Cardiovascular System, Cells, Medical Sciences, Circulatory and Respiratory Physiology, Medical Biochemistry, Medical Cell Biology

Abstract

Sparstolonin B (SsnB) is a novel bioactive compound isolated from Sparganium stoloniferum, an herb historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-tumor agent. Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from existing blood vessels, is dysregulated in many pathological disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, tumor growth, and atherosclerosis. In functional assays, SsnB inhibited endothelial cell tube formation (Matrigel method) and cell migration (Transwell method) in a dose-dependent manner. Microarray experiments with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) demonstrated differential expression of several hundred genes in response to SsnB exposure (916 and 356 genes, respectively, with fold change ≥2, p<0.05, unpaired t-test). Microarray data from both cell types showed significant overlap, including genes associated with cell proliferation and cell cycle. Flow cytometric cell cycle analysis of HUVECs treated with SsnB showed an increase of cells in the G1 phase and a decrease of cells in the S phase. Cyclin E2 (CCNE2) and Cell division cycle 6 (CDC6) are regulatory proteins that control cell cycle progression through the G1/S checkpoint. Both CCNE2 and CDC6 were downregulated in the microarray data. Real Time quantitative PCR confirmed that gene expression of CCNE2 and CDC6 in HUVECs was downregulated after SsnB exposure, to 64% and 35% of controls, respectively. The data suggest that SsnB may exert its anti-angiogenic properties in part by downregulating CCNE2 and CDC6, halting progression through the G1/S checkpoint. In the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, SsnB caused significant reduction in capillary length and branching number relative to the vehicle control group. Overall, SsnB caused a significant reduction in angiogenesis (ANOVA, p<0.05), demonstrating its ex vivo efficacy.