Figure 5. PM2.5 increased the permeability of vascular endothelial cells through regulation of the HCG18/miR-21-5p/SOX7/VE-cadherin axis. (A) The permeability detected by FITC-dextran transwell assay increased in PM2.5-treated HUVECs and decreased in HCG18 or SOX7-overexpressed or miR-21-5p-inhibited HUVECs. (B) Immunofluorescence assay was used to detect the expression and location of VE-cadherin in HUVECs. The expression of VE-cadherin was inhibited in PM2.5-treated HUVECs and increased in HCG18 or SOX7-overexpressed or miR-21-5p-inhibited HUVECs. Cotreatment with PM2.5 abrogated the overexpression of VE-cadherin induced by overexpression of HCG18 or SOX7 or inhibition of miR-21-5p. *: P<0.05; **: P<0.01; ***: P<0.001. Scale bar: 50 μm.