Punicalagin Attenuates Disturbed Flow-Induced Vascular Dysfunction by Inhibiting Force-Specific Activation of Smad1/5

Gulinigaer Anwaier, Guan Lian, Gui Zhi Ma, Wan Li Shen, Chih I. Lee, Pei Ling Lee, Zhan Ying Chang, Yun Xia Wang, Xiao Yu Tian, Xiao Li Gao, Jeng Jiann Chiu, Rong Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pathophysiological vascular remodeling in response to disturbed flow with low and oscillatory shear stress (OSS) plays important roles in atherosclerosis progression. Pomegranate extraction (PE) was reported having anti-atherogenic effects. However, whether it can exert a beneficial effect against disturbed flow-induced pathophysiological vascular remodeling to inhibit atherosclerosis remains unclear. The present study aims at investigating the anti-atherogenic effects of pomegranate peel polyphenols (PPP) extraction and its purified compound punicalagin (PU), as well as their protective effects on disturbed flow-induced vascular dysfunction and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Methods: The anti-atherogenic effects of PPP/PU were examined on low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice fed with a high fat diet. The vaso-protective effects of PPP/PU were examined in rat aortas using myograph assay. A combination of in vivo experiments on rats and in vitro flow system with human endothelial cells (ECs) was used to investigate the pharmacological actions of PPP/PU on EC dysfunction induced by disturbed flow. In addition, the effects of PPP/PU on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) dysfunction were also examined. Results: PU is the effective component in PPP against atherosclerosis. PPP/PU evoked endothelium-dependent relaxation in rat aortas. PPP/PU inhibited the activation of Smad1/5 in the EC layers at post-stenotic regions of rat aortas exposed to disturbed flow with OSS. PPP/PU suppressed OSS-induced expression of cell cycle regulatory and pro-inflammatory genes in ECs. Moreover, PPP/PU inhibited inflammation-induced VSMC dysfunction. Conclusion: PPP/PU protect against OSS-induced vascular remodeling through inhibiting force-specific activation of Smad1/5 in ECs and this mechanism contributes to their anti-atherogenic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697539
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2021


  • atherosclerosis
  • endothelial cell
  • oscillatory shear stress
  • pomegranate
  • punicalagin
  • Smads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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