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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 4134093, 10 pages
Research Article

Ziziphus nummularia Inhibits Inflammation-Induced Atherogenic Phenotype of Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells

1Department of Biology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
2Quality Assurance Department, Mondelēz Bahrain Biscuits W.L.L, Al Hidd, Bahrain
3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
4Department of Pharmacology, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
5Department of Biology, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE
6Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence should be addressed to Ali H. Eid; bl.ude.bua@18ea

Received 24 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 16 May 2017

Academic Editor: Alexander N. Orekhov

Copyright © 2017 Manal Fardoun 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.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. Atherosclerosis is a CVD characterized by plaque formation resulting from inflammation-induced insults to endothelial cells, monocytes, and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Despite significant advances, current treatments for atherosclerosis remain insufficient, prompting the search for alternative modalities, including herbal medicine. Ziziphus nummularia is an herb commonly used in the amelioration of symptoms associated with many health conditions such as cold, diarrhea, cancer, and diabetes. However, its effect on the inflammation-induced behavior of VSMCs remains unknown. In this study, we sought to determine the effect of the ethanolic extract of Z. nummularia (ZNE) on TNF-α-induced phenotypic changes of human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). The treatment of HASMCs with ZNE decreased cell proliferation, adhesion to fibronectin, migration, and invasion. ZNE treatment also caused a concentration- and time-dependent reduction in the TNF-α-induced expression of matrix metalloproteases MMP-2 and MMP-9, NF-κB, and cell adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1. Furthermore, ZNE decreased the adhesion of THP-1 monocytes to HASMCs and endothelial cells in a concentration-dependent manner. These data provide evidence for the anti-inflammatory effect of Ziziphus nummularia, along with potential implications for its use as an agent that could ameliorate inflammation-induced atherogenic phenotype of VSMCs in atherosclerosis.