Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that may lead to the development of serious cardiovascular diseases. Aged garlic extract (AGE) has been reported to ameliorate atherosclerosis, although its mode of action remains unclear. We found that AGE increased the mRNA or protein levels of arginase1 (Arg1), interleukin-10 (IL-10), CD206 and hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF2α) and decreased that of CD68, HIF1α and inducible nitric oxide synthase in the aorta and spleen of apolipoprotein E knockout mice. We also found that S-1-propenylcysteine (S1PC), a characteristic sulfur compound in AGE, increased the level of IL-10-induced Arg1 mRNA and the extent of M2c-like macrophage polarization in vitro. In addition, S1PC increased the population of M2c-like macrophages, resulting in suppressed the population of M1-like macrophages and decreased lipopolysaccharide-induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These effects were accompanied by prolonged phosphorylation of the IL-10 receptor α (IL-10Rα) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) that inhibited the interaction between IL-10Rα and Src homology-2-containing inositol 5'-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1). In addition, administration of S1PC elevated the M2c/M1 macrophage ratio in senescence-accelerated mice. These findings suggest that S1PC may help improve atherosclerosis due to its anti-inflammatory effect to promote IL-10-induced M2c macrophage polarization.
© 2021. The Author(s).