Angiogenic activity of sesamin through the activation of multiple signal pathways

Byung Hee Chung, Jung Joon Lee, Jong Dai Kim, Dooil Jeoung, Hansoo Lee, Jongseon Choe, Kwon Soo Ha, Young Geun Kwon, Young Myeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


The natural product sesamin has been known to act as a potent antioxidant and prevent endothelial dysfunction. We here found that sesamin increased in vitro angiogenic processes, such as endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation, as well as neovascularization in an animal model. This compound elicited the activation of multiple angiogenic signal modulators, such as ERK, Akt, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), NO production, FAK, and p38 MAPK, but not Src. The MEK inhibitor PD98059 and the PI3K inhibitor Wortmannin specifically inhibited sesamin-induced activation of the ERK and Akt/eNOS pathways. These inhibitors reduced angiogenic events, with high specificity for MEK/ERK-dependent cell proliferation and migration and PI3K/Akt-mediated tube formation. Moreover, inhibition of p38 MAPK effectively inhibited sesamin-induced cell migration. The angiogenic activity of sesamin was not associated with VEGF expression. Furthermore, this compound did not induce vascular permeability and upregulated ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression, which are hallmarks of vascular inflammation. These results suggest that sesamin stimulates angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo through the activation of MEK/ERK-, PI3K/Akt/eNOS-, p125FAK-, and p38 MAPK-dependent pathways, without increasing vascular inflammation, and may be used for treating ischemic diseases and tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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