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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 8478943, 11 pages
Research Article

Emblic Leafflower (Phyllanthus emblica L.) Fruits Ameliorate Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Dysfunction in Hyperglycemia: An Underlying Mechanism Involved in Ellagitannin Metabolite Urolithin A

1College of Pharmacy, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China
2Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Resource and Compound Prescription, Ministry of Education, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Guo-Hua Zheng; moc.anis@7221hgz and Zhenpeng Qiu; moc.liamtoh@qquhw

Received 14 August 2017; Revised 19 December 2017; Accepted 10 January 2018; Published 6 March 2018

Academic Editor: Shun-Wan Chan

Copyright © 2018 Junxuan Zhou 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.


Ellagitannins in Phyllanthus emblica L. (emblic leafflower fruits) have been thought of as the beneficial constituents for ameliorating endocrinal and metabolic diseases including diabetes. However, the effect of emblic leafflower fruits on diabetic vascular complications involved in ellagitannin-derived urolithin metabolites is still rare. In this study, acetylcholine-induced endothelium-independent relaxation in aortas was facilitated upon emblic leafflower fruit consumption in the single dose streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic rats. Emblic leafflower fruit consumption also suppressed the phosphorylation of Akt (Thr308) in the hyperglycemic aortas. More importantly, urolithin A (UroA) and its derived phase II metabolites were identified as the metabolites upon emblic leafflower fruit consumption by HPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS. Moreover, UroA reduced the protein expressions of phosphor-Akt (Thr308) and β-catenin in a high glucose-induced A7r5 vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation model. Furthermore, accumulation of β-catenin protein and activation of Wnt signaling in LiCl-triggered A7r5 cells were also ameliorated by UroA treatment. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that emblic leafflower fruit consumption facilitates the vascular function in hyperglycemic rats by regulating Akt/β-catenin signaling, and the effects are potentially mediated by the ellagitannin metabolite urolithin A.