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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 956824, 9 pages
Research Article

Essential Oils from Fructus A. zerumbet Protect Human Aortic Endothelial Cells from Apoptosis Induced by Ox-LDL In Vitro

1Department of Pharmacology of Materia Medica, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550025, China
2The Key Lab of Optimal Utilization of Natural Medicine Resources, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550025, China

Received 18 September 2014; Accepted 2 December 2014; Published 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Shuang-En Chuang

Copyright © 2014 Yan Chen 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.


Alpinia zerumbet is a miao folk medicinal plant widely used in the Guizhou Province of southwest China that contains several bioactive constituents and possesses protective effects against cardiovascular diseases. In the present study, we evaluated the protective effect of essential oils derived from Fructus Alpiniae zerumbet (EOFAZ) on oxidized lowdensity-lipoprotein- (ox-LDL-) induced apoptosis in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). Following exposure to ox-LDL, HAECs presented with classical characteristics of apoptosis. However, EOFAZ ameliorated these morphological alterations and also inhibited the decrease in cell viability. In addition, EOFAZ abrogated the number of TUNEL or Hoechst 33258 stained positive cells observed after ox-LDL challenge. Investigation into the mechanisms of this inhibition revealed that EOFAZ treatment resulted in a downregulation of Bax and Caspase-3 at both the protein and mRNA expression levels. Moreover, EOFAZ was found to upregulate Bcl-2 protein and mRNA levels and to attenuate ox-LDL-induced HAECs injury caused by apoptosis, revealing both its therapeutic potential for endothelial cell injury protection and its clinical application for atherosclerosis.