Kanglexin protects against cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction in mice by TGF-β1/ERK1/2 noncanonical pathway

Xue Liu, Weina Han, Na An, Na Cao, Tingting Wu, Shuang Yang, Lili Ding, Xiaoli Chen, Chao Chen, Aruhan Yannan, Zhang Kexin, Wang Lianhuan, Suo Jian, Huang Jinhui, Wang Xin, Zhao Jiuxin, Zhu Yan, Zhang Baofeng, Yang
Frontiers in Pharmacology2021
Cardiac fibrosis is a common pathological manifestation accompanied by various heart diseases, and antifibrotic therapy is an effective strategy to prevent diverse pathological processes of the cardiovascular system. We currently report the pharmacological evaluation of a novel anthraquinone compound (1,8-dihydroxy-6-methyl-9,10-anthraquinone-3-oxy ethyl succinate) named Kanglexin (KLX), as a potent cardioprotective agent with antifibrosis activity. Our results demonstrated that the administration of KLX by intragastric gavage alleviated cardiac dysfunction, hypertrophy, and fibrosis induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC) surgical operation. Meanwhile, KLX administration relieved endothelial to mesenchymal transition of TAC mice. In TGF β1-treated primary cultured adult mouse cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), KLX inhibited cell proliferation and collagen secretion. Also, KLX suppressed the transformation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts in CFs. Further studies revealed that KLX-mediated cardiac protection was due to the inhibitory role of TGF-β1/ERK1/2 noncanonical pathway. In summary, our study indicates that KLX attenuated cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction of TAC mice, providing a potentially effective therapeutic strategy for heart pathological remodeling.

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