The Salutary Effects of Catalpol on Diesel Exhaust Particles-Induced Thrombogenic Changes and Cardiac Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Apoptosis

Abderrahim Nemmar, Sumaya Beegam, Nur Elena Zaaba, Salem Alblooshi, Saleh Alseiari, Badreldin H. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Inhaled particulate air pollution exerts pulmonary inflammation and cardiovascular toxicity through secondary systemic effects due to oxidative stress and inflammation. Catalpol, an iridiod glucoside, extracted from the roots of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch, has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Yet, the potential ameliorative effects of catalpol on particulate air pollution—induced cardiovascular toxicity, has not been studied so far. Hence, we evaluated the possible mitigating mechanism of catalpol (5 mg/kg) which was administered to mice by intraperitoneal injection one hour before the intratracheal (i.t.) administration of a relevant type of pollutant particle, viz. diesel exhaust particles (DEPs, 30 µg/mouse). Twenty-four hours after the lung deposition of DEPs, several cardiovascular endpoints were evaluated. DEPs caused a significant shortening of the thrombotic occlusion time in pial microvessels in vivo, induced platelet aggregation in vitro, and reduced the prothrombin time and the activated partial thromboplastin time. All these actions were effectively mitigated by catalpol pretreatment. Likewise, catalpol inhibited the increase of the plasma concentration of C-reactive proteins, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and P-and E-selectins, induced by DEPs. Moreover, in heart tissue, catalpol inhibited the increase of markers of oxidative (lipid peroxidation and superoxide dismutase) and nitrosative (nitric oxide) stress, and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β) triggered by lung exposure to DEPs. Exposure to DEPs also caused heart DNA damage and increased the levels of cytochrome C and cleaved caspase, and these effects were significantly diminished by the catalpol pretreatment. Moreover, catalpol significantly reduced the DEPs-induced increase of the nuclear factor κB (NFκB) in the heart. In conclusion, catalpol significantly ameliorated DEPs–induced procoagulant events and heart oxidative and nitrosative stress, inflammation, DNA damage and apoptosis, at least partly, through the inhibition of NFκB activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Apoptosis
  • Catalpol
  • Coagulation
  • DNA damage
  • Diesel exhaust particles
  • Heart inflammation
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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