Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 55, no. 23, pp. 9457-9464
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is characterized by infiltration of mononuclear lymphocytes into the intima through the expression of adhesion molecules on the arterial wall. In the present study, we report the inhibitory effects of two diarylheptanoids, 5-O-methylhirsutanonol (1) and oregonin (2), isolated from the methanolic extracts of Alnus japonica leaves, on the expression of adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α- induced up-regulation of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), which also prevented adhesion of monocytes to HUVECs, and slightly suppressed the mRNA expression of the inflammation-associated gene interleukin-1β (IL-1β). A further study demonstrated the inhibitory effect of compound 1 on DNA-binding of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and on the phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitory factor κBα (IκBα) in TNF-α-stimulated HUVECs. These results indicate that compounds 1 and 2 may be useful in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis through attenuation of adhesion molecule expression by inhibition of NF-κB activation.