In this investigation, we made a study of the efficacy of luteolin (a flavonoid found in plants such as vegetables, herbs and fruits) on vascular contractibility and to elucidate the mechanism underlying the relaxation. Isometric contractions of denuded muscles were stored and combined with western blot analysis which was conducted to assess the phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase targeting subunit 1 (MYPT1) and phosphorylation-dependent inhibitory protein for myosin phosphatase (CPI-17) and to examine the effect of luteolin on the RhoA/ROCK/CPI-17 pathway. Luteolin significantly alleviated phorbol ester-, fluoride- and thromboxane mimetic-elicited contractions regardless of endothelial nitric oxide synthesis, implying its direct effect on smooth muscle. It also significantly alleviated the fluoride-elicited elevation in pCPI-17 and pMYPT1 levels and phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate-elicited increase in pERK1/2 level, suggesting depression of ROCK and PKC/MEK activity and ensuing phosphorylation of MYPT1, CPI-17 and ERK1/2. Taken together, these results suggest that luteolin-elicited relaxation includes myosin phosphatase reactivation and calcium desensitization, which seems to be arbitrated by CPI-17 dephosphorylation via ROCK/PKC inhibition.
Keywords: CPI-17; Fluoride; Luteolin; MYPT1; Phorbol ester; ROCK.