Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Susan M Lessner


Sparstolonin B (SsnB) is a novel bioreactive compound isolated from Sparganium stoloniferum, an herb historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-tumor agent. SsnB has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, inhibiting Toll-like receptor mediated inflammation in isolated macrophages and in mice. Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from existing blood vessels, is dysregulated in many pathological disorders, including atherosclerosis, diabetic retinopathy, and tumor growth. The goal of the project was to investigate the anti-angiogenic effects of SsnB.

The first part of the project utilized in vitro functional assays to study how SsnB affected endothelial cells. 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 by downregulating CCNE2 and CDC6, halting progression through the G1/S checkpoint.

In the second portion of the project, a chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay was utilized to investigate SsnB inhibition of ex vivo angiogenesis. Chick embryos were exposed to methylcelluose discs containing vehicle control (DMSO) or SsnB. Chick embryos receiving SsnB discs showed significant reduction in capillary length and branching relative to the vehicle control group. Overall, SsnB caused a significant reduction in angiogenesis, demonstrating its ex vivo efficacy.


© 2013, Henry Rhodes Bateman