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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 3831750, 11 pages
Research Article

Red Yeast Rice Protects Circulating Bone Marrow-Derived Proangiogenic Cells against High-Glucose-Induced Senescence and Oxidative Stress: The Role of Heme Oxygenase-1

1School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
2Department of Neurosurgery, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
4Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology, Anesthesiology, and Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
5Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Applications, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 515, Taiwan
6Department of Psychology, College of Medical and Health Science, Asia University, Taichung 413, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yung-Hsiang Chen; wt.ude.umc.liam@nehchy

Received 13 January 2017; Revised 28 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 7 May 2017

Academic Editor: Gian L. Russo

Copyright © 2017 Jung-Tung 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.


The inflammation and oxidative stress of bone marrow-derived proangiogenic cells (PACs), also named endothelial progenitor cells, triggered by hyperglycemia contributes significantly to vascular dysfunction. There is supporting evidence that the consumption of red yeast rice (RYR; Monascus purpureus-fermented rice) reduces the vascular complications of diabetes; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed to elucidate the effects of RYR extract in PACs, focusing particularly on the role of a potent antioxidative enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). We found that treatment with RYR extract induced nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor nuclear translocation and HO-1 mRNA and protein levels in PACs. RYR extract inhibited high-glucose-induced (30 mM) PAC senescence and the development of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a dose-dependent manner. The HO-1 inducer cobalt protoporphyrin IX also decreased high-glucose-induced cell senescence and oxidative stress, whereas the HO-1 enzyme inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin IX and HO-1 small interfering RNA significantly reversed RYR extract-caused inhibition of senescence and reduction of oxidative stress in high-glucose-treated PACs. These results suggest that RYR extract serves as alternative and complementary medicine in the treatment of these diseases, by inducing HO-1, thereby decreasing the vascular complications of diabetes.