Tanshinone IIA inhibits angiogenesis in human endothelial progenitor cells

[Speaker] Shih-Wei Wang:1
[Co-author] Chia-Jung Wang:1, Chih-Hsin Tang:2
1:Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, Taiwan, 2:Graduate Institute of Biomedical Science, China Medical University, Taiwan

Accumulating evidence reports that bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) regulate angiogenesis, postnatal neovascularization and tumor metastasis. It has been suggested that understanding the molecular targets and pharmacological functions of natural products is important for novel drug discovery. Tanshinone IIA is a major diterpene quinone compound isolated from Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Evidence indicates that tanshinone IIA modulates angiogenic functions in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. However, the anti-angiogenic activity of tanshinone IIA in human EPCs has not been addressed. Here, we report that tanshinone IIA dramatically suppresses vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-promoted migration and tube formation of human EPCs, without cytotoxic effects. We also show that tanshinone IIA markedly inhibits VEGF-induced angiogenesis in the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. Importantly, tanshinone IIA significantly attenuated microvessel formation and the expression of EPC-specific markers in the in vivo Matrigel plug assay in mice. Further, we found that tanshinone IIA inhibits EPC angiogenesis through the PLC, Akt and JNK signaling pathways. Our report is the first to reveal that tanshinone IIA reduces EPC angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Tanshinone IIA is a promising natural product worthy of further development for the treatment of cancer and other angiogenesis-related pathologies.

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