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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4847874, 9 pages
Research Article

HSP27 Inhibits Homocysteine-Induced Endothelial Apoptosis by Modulation of ROS Production and Mitochondrial Caspase-Dependent Apoptotic Pathway

1Department of Cardiology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, 218 Ziqiang Street, Changchun 130041, China
2Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, 218 Ziqiang Street, Changchun 130041, China

Received 13 January 2016; Revised 18 March 2016; Accepted 23 March 2016

Academic Editor: Cheng I. Cheng

Copyright © 2016 Xin Tian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Elevated plasma homocysteine (Hcy) could lead to endothelial dysfunction and is viewed as an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), a small heat shock protein, is reported to exert protective effect against atherosclerosis. This study aims to investigate the protective effect of HSP27 against Hcy-induced endothelial cell apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and to determine the underlying mechanisms. Methods. Apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) of normal or HSP27-overexpressing HUVECs in the presence of Hcy were analyzed by flow cytometry. The mRNA and protein expression levels were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot. Results. We found that Hcy could induce cell apoptosis with corresponding decrease of nitric oxide (NO) level, increase of endothelin-1 (ET-1), intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) levels, elevation of ROS, and dissipation of MMP. In addition, HSP27 could protect the cell against Hcy-induced apoptosis and inhibit the effect of Hcy on HUVECs. Furthermore, HSP27 could increase the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and inhibit caspase-3 activity. Conclusions. Therefore, we concluded that HSP27 played a protective role against Hcy-induced endothelial apoptosis through modulation of ROS production and the mitochondrial caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway.