Wogonin, extracted from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been shown to suppress collagen deposition in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). This study was performed to investigate the role and mechanism of wogonin underlying vascular remodeling in SHRs. After injection of SHRs with 40 mg/kg of wogonin, blood pressure in rats was measured once a week. Masson's trichrome staining was conducted to observe the changes in aortas and mesenteric arteries. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) isolated from rat thoracic aortas were treated with Angiotensin II (Ang II; 100 nM) in the presence or absence of varying concentrations of wogonin. The viability and proliferation of VSMCs were examined using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine assay, respectively. The migration of VSMCs was examined using wound healing assay and transwell assay. We found that wogonin administration alleviated hypertension, increased lumen diameter, and reduced the thickness of the arterial media in SHRs. Ang II treatment enhanced the viability of VSMCs, which was inhibited by wogonin in a concentration-dependent manner. Wogonin reversed Ang II-induced increases in the viability, proliferation, and migration of VSMCs. Moreover, wogonin inhibited Ang II-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in VSMCs. Overall, wogonin repressed the proliferative and migratory capacity of VSMCs by regulating the MAPK signaling pathway, thereby attenuating vascular remodeling in hypertensive rats, indicating that wogonin might be a therapeutic agent for the treatment of vascular diseases.
Keywords: Angiotensins; Flavonoids; Hypertension; Vascular remodeling.