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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 936463, 10 pages
Research Article

Anti-Proliferative Effect of an Aqueous Extract of Prunella vulgaris in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

1College of Oriental Medicine and Professional Graduate School of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Shinyong-dong, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Republic of Korea
2Center for Bioanalysis, Division of Metrology for Quality of Life, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, Doryong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-340, Republic of Korea
3Hanbang Body-Fluid Research Center, Wonkwang University, Shinyong-dong, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Republic of Korea
4Department of Research Development, Institute of Jinan Red Ginseng, Jinan, Jeonbuk 567-801, Republic of Korea

Received 21 March 2013; Accepted 10 August 2013

Academic Editor: Myeong S. Lee

Copyright © 2013 Sun Mi Hwang 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.


The abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in arterial walls is an important pathogenic factor of vascular disorders such as diabetic atherosclerosis. We have reported the anti-inflammatory effect of an aqueous extract from Prunella vulgaris (APV) in vascular endothelial cell. In the present study, APV exhibited inhibitory effects on high glucose-stimulated VSMC proliferation, migration, and invasion activities, inducing G1 cell cycle arrest with downregulation of cyclins and CDKs and upregulation of the CKIs, and . Furthermore, APV dose dependently suppressed the high glucose-induced matrix metalloproteinase activity. High glucose-induced phosphorylation of ERK, p38 MAPK, was decreased by the pretreatment of APV. NF-κB activation by high glucose was attenuated by APV, as an antioxidant. APV attenuated the high glucose-induced decrease of nuclear factor E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) translocation and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression. Intracellular cGMP level was also increased by APV treatment. These results demonstrate that APV may inhibit VSMC proliferation via downregulating ROS/NF-κB /ERK/p38 MAPK pathways. In addition, APV has a beneficial effect by the interaction of Nrf2-mediated NO/cGMP with HO-1, suggesting that Prunella vulgaris may be useful in preventing diabetic atherosclerosis.