Home / Scientific activities / Researches / The milk thistle (Silybum marianum) compound Silibinin stimulates leukopoiesis from mouse embryonic stem cells.

The milk thistle (Silybum marianum) compound Silibinin stimulates leukopoiesis from mouse embryonic stem cells.

The milk thistle compound Silibinin (i.e., a 1:1 mixture of Silybin A and Silybin B) stimulates vasculogenesis of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Because vasculogenesis and leukopoiesis are interrelated, the effect of Silibinin on leukopoiesis of ES cells was investigated. Treatment of differentiating ES cells with hydrosoluble Silibinin-C-2′,3-dihydrogen succinate dose-dependent increased the number of CD18+ , CD45+ , and CD68+ cells, indicating leukocyte/macrophage differentiation. Silibinin treatment activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), AKT (protein kinase B), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), stimulated hypoxia-induced factor-1α (HIF-1α), and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) expression and raised intracellular nitric oxide (NO). Western blot experiments showed that upon coincubation with either the PI3K inhibitor LY294002, the STAT3 inhibitor Stattic, the AKT antagonist AKT inhibitor VIII, or the NO inhibitor L-NAME, the Silibinin-induced expression of CD18, CD45, and CD68 was abolished. Moreover, the stimulation of HIF-1α and VEGFR2 expression was blunted upon STAT3 and PI3K/AKT inhibition. Treatment of differentiating ES cells with L-NAME abolished the stimulation of VEGFR2 and VE-cadherin expression achieved with Silibinin, indicating that NO is involved in vasculogenesis and leukocyte differentiation pathways. In summary, the data of the present study demonstrate that Silibinin stimulates leukocyte differentiation of ES cells, which is associated to vasculogenesis and regulated by PI3K/AKT-, STAT3-, and NO-mediated signaling.
Enas Hussein Ali
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