JOURNAL ARTICLE

Induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NAD[P]H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) by a phenolic antioxidant, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and its metabolite, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) in primary-cultured human and rat hepatocytes

Young-Sam Keum, Yong-Hae Han, Celine Liew, Jung-Hwan Kim, Changjiang Xu, Xiaoling Yuan, Michael P Shakarjian, Saeho Chong, Ah-Ng Kong
Pharmaceutical Research 2006, 23 (11): 2586-94
17048120

PURPOSE: This study was aimed to investigate the effects of a phenolic antioxidant, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and its metabolite, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) on the induction of HO-1, NQO1 and Nrf2 proteins and their regulatory mechanisms in primary-cultured hepatocytes.

METHODS: After exposure of BHA and tBHQ to primary-cultured rat and human hepatocytes and mouse neonatal fibroblasts (MFs), Western blot, semi-quantitative RT-PCR and microarray analysis were conducted.

RESULTS: Induction of HO-1, NQO1 and Nrf2 proteins and activation of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 were observed after BHA and tBHQ treatments in primary-cultured rat and human hepatocytes. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR study and microarray analysis revealed that HO-1 and NQO1 were transcriptionally activated in primary-cultured rat hepatocytes and a substantial transcriptional activation, including HO-1 occurred in primary-cultured human hepatocytes after BHA treatment. Whereas BHA failed to induce HO-1 in wild-type and Nrf2 knock-out MFs, tBHQ strongly induced HO-1 in wild-type, but not in Nrf2 knock-out MFs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that both BHA and tBHQ are strong chemical inducers of HO-1, NQO1 and Nrf2 proteins in primary-cultured human and rat hepatocytes with the activation of MAPK ERK1/2 and JNK1/2. However, in MFs, BHA failed to induce HO-1, whereas tBHQ strongly induced HO-1 in Nrf2 wild-type but not in Nrf2 knock-out, suggesting that Nrf2 is indispensable for tBHQ-induced HO-1 in MF.

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