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To explore the protective effect of celastrol on insulin resistance (IR) induced by high glucose in vascular endothelial cells and its possible mechanism.
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells(HUVECs) was divided into 3 groups: the normal control group cultivated in DEME medium with 5.5 mmol/L glucose; the high glucose group (HG) cultivated in DEME medium with 33 mmol/L glucose for 48h after the IR model was set up; the celastrol group cultivated in DEME medium with 33 mmol/L glucose and 1μg/mL of celastrol for 48h after the IR model was set up. The cell viability, nitric oxide(NO), endothelin-1(ET-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1(ICAM-1), vascular intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species(ROS), p-IKK and IkBa protein levels were detected.
Compared with the normal control, the cell viability, the level of NO and the mitochondrial membrane potential were decreased, levels of ET-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and ROS increased, p-IKK expression was upregulated, and IκBα expression was down-regulated in HG group(all P<0.01). Celastrol reversed these changes(P<0.05).
Celastrol has the protective effect on insulin resistance induced by high glucose in vascular endothelial cells via inhibiting ROS/IKK signaling pathway.