Molecular mechanism of green microalgae, Dunaliella salina, involved in attenuating balloon injury-induced neointimal formation

Ming Jyh Sheu, Hsu Chen Cheng, Yi Chung Chien, Pei Yu Chou, Guang Jhong Huang, Jwo Sheng Chen, Sung Yuan Lin, Chieh Hsi Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The pathological mechanism of restenosis is primarily attributed to excessive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). The preventive effects of ethanol extract of Dunaliella salina (EDS) on balloon injury-induced neointimal formation were investigated. To explore its molecular mechanism in regulating cell proliferation, we first showed that EDS markedly reduced the human aortic smooth muscle cell proliferation via the inhibition of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation at 40 and 80g/ml. This was further supported by the G0/G1-phase arrest using a flow cytometric analysis. In an in vivo study, EDS at 40 and 80g/ml was previously administered to the Sprague-Dawley rats and found that the thickness of neointima, and the ratio of neointima:media were also reduced. EDS inhibited VSMC proliferation in a dose-dependent manner following stimulation of VSMC cultures with 15% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Suppressed by EDS were 15% FBS-stimulated intracellular Raf, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (p-Erk) involved in cell-cycle arrest and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (p-FAK) was also suppressed by EDS. Also active caspase-9, caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein expression levels were increased by administration with EDS; the apoptotic pathway may play an important role in the regulatory effects of EDS on cell growth. These observations provide a mechanism of EDS in attenuating cell proliferation, thus as a potential intervention for restenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-335
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Angioplasty
  • Dunaliella salina
  • Human aortic smooth muscle cells
  • Neointima formation
  • Restenosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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