Our previous studies demonstrated that Qi-Shao-Shuang-Gan (QSSG), a combination of Astragalus
membranaceus saponins (SAM) with Paeonia lactiflora glycosides (GPL), possessed protective effects against sepsis in
mice. The present study aimed to explore its underlying mechanisms with a focus on the adhesion between leukocytes and
inflammatory endothelial cells. Our results showed that QSSG (10, 30, 100 μg/ml) concentration-dependently inhibited
the adhesion between leukocytes and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells
(HUVECs), and downregulated the expressions of endothelial adhesion molecules such as E-selectin, P-selectin,
intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in HUVECs. It also
suppresssed the phosphorylations of JNK, ERK and p38 MAPK, as well as the activation of NF-κB in HUVECs. The
findings revealed that QSSG was able to prevent the adhesion between leukocytes and endothelial cells, which supported
a plausible explanation for the antiseptic effects of QSSG.
Keywords: QSSG, adhesion, adhesion molecules, antiseptic effect, endothelial cells, leukocytes.
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