Ionic silicon improves endothelial cells' survival under toxic oxidative stress by overexpressing angiogenic markers and antioxidant enzymes

Felipe Monte, Tugba Cebe, Daniel Ripperger, Fareed Ighani, Hristo V. Kojouharov, Benito M. Chen, Harry K Kim, Pranesh B. Aswath, Venu G. Varanasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress, induced by harmful levels of reactive oxygen species, is a common occurrence that impairs proper bone defect vascular healing through the impairment of endothelial cell function. Ionic silicon released from silica-based biomaterials, can upregulate hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Yet it is unclear whether ionic Si can restore endothelial cell function under oxidative stress conditions. Therefore, we hypothesized that ionic silicon can help improve human umbilical vein endothelial cells' (HUVECs') survival under toxic oxidative stress. In this study, we evaluated the ionic jsilicon effect on HUVECs viability, proliferation, migration, gene expression, and capillary tube formation under normal conditions and under harmful hydrogen peroxide levels. We demonstrated that 0.5-mM Si4+ significantly enhanced angiogenesis in HUVECs under normal condition (p < 0.05). HUVECs exposed to 0.5-mM Si4+ presented a morphological change, even without the bed of Matrigel, and formed significantly more tube-like structures than the control (p < 0.001). In addition, 0.5-mM Si4+ enhanced cell viability in HUVECs under harmful H2O2 levels. HIF-1α, vascular endothelial growth factor-A, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 were overexpressed more than twofold in silicon-treated HUVECs, under normal and toxic H2O2 conditions. Moreover, the HUVECs were treated with 0.5-mM Si4+ overexpressed superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1), catalase-1 (Cat-1), and nitric oxide synthase-3 (NOS3) under normal and oxidative stress environment (p < 0.01). A computational model was used for explaining the antioxidant effect of Si4+ in endothelial cells and human periosteum cells by SOD-1 enhancement. In conclusion, we demonstrated that 0.5-mM Si4+ can recover the HUVECs' viability under oxidative stress conditions by reducing cell death and upregulating expression of angiogenic and antioxidant factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2203-2220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • angiogenesis
  • angiogenic markers
  • antioxidant enzymes
  • cell survival
  • endothelial cells
  • ionic silicon
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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