The anti-inflammatory effects of Morin hydrate in atherosclerosis is associated with autophagy induction through cAMP signaling


Although the previous trials of inflammation have indicated that morin hydrate (MO) hold considerable promise, understanding the distinct mechanism of MO against inflammation remains a challenge.


This study investigated the effect of MO in atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice and underlying cell signaling of MO effect in inflammation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Administration of MO significantly reduced serum lipid level, inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and ICAM-1), and atherosclerotic plaque formation in vivo. MO presence attenuated the expression of TNF-α-induced inflammatory cytokines (ICAM-1, COX-2, and MMP-9), and remarkably enhanced microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta 2 (MAP1LC3B2) expression and sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) degradation in HUVECs. These MO effects were significantly prevented by the presence of autophagic inhibitors, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), or chloroquine (CQ), as well as siRNA suppression of ATG5 and BECN1. MO increased intracellular cAMP levels and activated cAMP-PKA-AMPK-SIRT1 signaling in vivo and in vitro. These changes resulted in increased expression of autophagy-related protein MAP1LC3B2 and decreased secretion of inflammatory cytokines (ICAM-1, COX-2, and MMP-9).


Our results suggest that anti-AS and anti-inflammatory effects of MO are largely associated with its induction of autophagy through stimulation of cAMP-PKA-AMPK-SIRT1 signaling pathway.

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