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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 162145, 6 pages
Research Article

Panax notoginseng Saponins Attenuate Phenotype Switching of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Induced by Notch3 Silencing

1Department of Neurology, Military General Hospital of Beijing PLA, Beijing 100700, China
2191 Clinical Department, 303 Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, Guigang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 537105, China
3Key Laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine of Ministry of Education and Beijing Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China

Received 16 April 2015; Revised 20 May 2015; Accepted 30 May 2015

Academic Editor: Dan Hu

Copyright © 2015 Nan Liu 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.


Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) could maintain vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in stable phenotypes so as to keep blood vessel elasticity as well as prevent failing in endovascular treatment with stent. Downregulation of Notch3 expression in VSMCs could influence the phenotype of VSMCs under pathologic status. However, whether PNS is able to attenuate the Notch3 silencing induced phenotype switching of VSMCs remains poorly understood. Primary human VSMCs were transfected with a plasmid containing a small interfering RNA (siRNA) against Notch3 and then exposed to different doses of PNS. The control groups included cells not receiving any treatment and cells transfected with a control siRNA. Phenotypic switching was evaluated by observing cell morphology with confocal microscopy, as well as examining α-SM-actin, SM22α, and OPN using Western blot. Downregulated Notch3 with a siRNA induced apparent phenotype switching, as reflected by morphologic changes, decreased expression of α-SM-actin and SM22α and increased expression of OPN. These changes were inhibited by PNS in a dose-dependent manner. The phenotype switching of VSMCs induced by Notch3 knockdown could be inhibited by PNS in a dose-dependent manner. Our study provided new evidence for searching effective drug for amending stability of atherosclerotic disease.