Endothelial dysfunction is involved in various aspects of vascular biology and different stages of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein (NOD) 2, a pivotal innate immune receptor for muramyl dipeptide (MDP), has been reported to be a central regulator in CVDs. Previously, we reported that NOD2 played a leading role in MDP-triggered oxidative stress in endothelial cells (ECs). However, whether NOD2 participates in the regulatory mechanism of vascular cell adhesion molecule‑1 (VCAM-1) and endothelin‑1 (ET-1) expression was not elucidated.
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were stimulated with MDP for 12 h. mRNA expression of VCAM‑1 and ET‑1 was detected using real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Scrambled control small interfering RNA (siRNA) and NOD2 siRNA were transfected into HUVECs using Lipofectamine 2000 reagent (Invitrogen, Waltham, MA, USA). Furthermore, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate was adopted to investigate the effect of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) on NOD2-mediated VCAM‑1 and ET‑1 gene expression in MDP-treated HUVECs.
Data showed that MDP significantly increased VCAM‑1 and ET‑1 mRNA expression, which was dependent on NOD2. In addition, NF-κB inhibition suppressed NOD2-mediated gene expression of VCAM‑1 and ET‑1.
Collectively, we confirmed NOD2 aggravated VCAM‑1 and ET‑1 gene expression through NF-κB in HUVECs treated with MDP.