The methanol seed extract of garcinia kola attenuated angiotensin II- and lipopolyssacharide-induced vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and nitric oxide production

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All over the world, cardiovascular diseases are a risk factor for poor health and early death with predisposing factors to include age, gender, tobacco use, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, obesity, family history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, psychosocial factors, poverty and low educational status, and air pollution. It is envisaged that herbal products that can stem this trend would be of great benefit. Garcinia kola (GK), also known as bitter kola is one of such plants. Generally used as a social snack and offered to guests in some cultural settings, bitter kola has been indicated in the treatment of laryngitis, general inflammation, bronchitis, viral infections and diabetes. In this study, the effects of methanol seed extract of Garcinia kola on the proliferation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMCs) in cell culture by Angiotensin II (Ang II) and LPS-induced NO production were carried out. Confluent VSMCs were exposed to GK (25, 50 and 100 μg/ml) before or after treatment with lipopolyssacharide (100μg/ml), and Angiotensin II (10-8-10-6M). Cellular proliferation was determined by MTT assay and NO production by Griess assay. Treatment with Angiotensin II (10-8, 10-6) or LPS significantly enhanced proliferation of VSM cells while LPS significantly increased nitric oxide (NO) production. Treatment with GK (25, 50 & 100 μg/ml) attenuated VSM cell proliferation. The results indicate that GK has potential to inhibit mitogen activated vascular cell growth and possibly inhibit inflammatory responses to LPS. Thus GK may be useful in condition that is characterized by cellular proliferation and inflammatory responses.