Morelloflavone blocks injury-induced neointimal formation by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle cell migration.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jan 1;1790(1):31-9. Epub 2008 Sep 30. PMID: 18930785
BACKGROUND: In-stent restenosis, or renarrowing within a coronary stent, is the most ominous complication of percutaneous coronary intervention, caused by vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration into and proliferation in the intima. Although drug-eluting stents reduce restenosis, they delay the tissue healing of the injured arteries. No promising alternative anti-restenosis treatments are currently on the horizon. METHODS: In endothelium-denudated mouse carotid arteries, oral morelloflavone-an active ingredient of the Thai medicinal plant Garcinia dulcis-significantly decreased the degree of neointimal hyperplasia, without affecting neointimal cell cycle progression or apoptosis as evaluated by Ki-67 and TUNEL staining, respectively. At the cellular level, morelloflavone robustly inhibited VSMC migration as shown by both scratch wound and invasion assays. In addition, morelloflavone prevented VSMCs from forming lamellipodia, a VSMC migration apparatus. Mechanistically, the inhibition by morelloflavone of VSMC migration was through its negative regulatory effects on several migration-related kinases, including FAK, Src, ERK, and RhoA. Consistently with the animal data, morelloflavone did not affect VSMC cell cycle progression or induce apoptosis. RESULTS: These data suggest that morelloflavone blocks injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia via the inhibition of VSMC migration, without inducing apoptosis or cell cycle arrest. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: We propose morelloflavone to be a viable oral agent for the prevention of restenosis, without compromising effects on the integrity and healing of the injured arteries.