Journal of Inflammation Research (Jan 2022)

Hypermethylation Effects of Yiqihuoxue Decoction in Diabetic Atherosclerosis Using Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analyses

  • Zhou QB,
  • Chen Y,
  • Zhang Y,
  • Li DD,
  • Wang HQ,
  • Jia ZJ,
  • Jin Y,
  • Xu FQ,
  • Zhang Y

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 15
pp. 163 – 176


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Qing-Bing Zhou,1 Yao Chen,1 Yan Zhang,1 Dan-Dan Li,1 Hong-Qin Wang,1 Zi-Jun Jia,1 Yu Jin,2 Feng-Qin Xu,1 Ying Zhang1 1Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100091, People’s Republic of China; 2The First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, 518035, People’s Republic of ChinaCorrespondence: Feng-Qin Xu; Ying ZhangInstitute of Geriatric Medicine, Xiyuan Hospital, Xiyuan Playground No. 1, Haidian District, Beijing, 100091, People’s Republic of ChinaTel/Fax +86 10-62835003Email [email protected] Zhang Email [email protected]: To investigate if a traditional Chinese medicine formulation, called “Yiqihuoxue” (YQHX), could improve diabetic atherosclerosis (DA) and explore potential mechanisms based on DNA methylation.Methods: Apolipoprotein E-knockout mice were administered streptozotocin (50 mg/d, i.p.) for 5 days and fed a high-fat diet for 16 weeks. Mice were divided randomly into DA model, rosiglitazone, as well as low-, medium-, and high-dose YQHX groups. Ten healthy C57BL/6J mice were the control group. Serum levels of fasting insulin, blood glucose, homeostasis model-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), serum lipids, and inflammatory factors were analyzed after the final treatment. Aorta tissues were collected for staining (hematoxylin and eosin, and Oil red O). Genomic DNA was extracted for methyl-capture sequencing (MC-seq). Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins (STRING) databases were used to analyze differentially methylated genes. Pyrosequencing was used to verify MC-seq data.Results: Low-dose and high-dose YQHX could reduce the HOMA-IR (P < 0.05). Low-dose YQHX reduced expression of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), TNF-α, andI L-6 in serum compared with that in the model group (P < 0.05). Medium-dose YQHX decoction inhibited the expression level of TNF-α (P < 0.05). High-dose YQHX decreased the expression level of IL-6 (P < 0.05). Staining also showed the anti-atherosclerosis effects of YQHX (P < 0.05). MC-seq revealed many abnormally hypermethylated and hypomethylated genes in DA mice compared with those in the control group. KEGG database analysis showed that the hypermethylated genes induced by YQHX treatment were related to pathways in cancer, Hippo signaling, and mitogen activated protein kinase. The network analysis suggested that the hypermethylated genes epidermal growth factor receptor(Egfr) and phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 1(Pik3r1) induced by YQHX treatment had important roles in DA. Pyrosequencing revealed that YQHX treatment increased methylation of AKT1, Nr1h3 and Fabp4 significantly (P < 0.05).Conclusion: YQHX decoction had positive treatment effects against DA, because it could regulate aberrant hypomethylation of DNA.Keywords: diabetic atherosclerosis, YQHX decoction, DNA methylation, hypermethylation