DIDS attenuates staurosporine-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis by PI3K/Akt signaling pathway: activation of eNOS/NO and inhibition of Bax translocation

An-Heng Liu, Ya-Nan Cao, Hong-Tao Liu, Wei-Wei Zhang, Yan Liu, Tang-Wang Shi, Guo-Liang Jia, Xiao-Ming Wang
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 2008, 22 (1): 177-86

AIMS: 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), a non-selective chloride channel blocker, has been shown to prevent cell apoptosis, however, the underlying mechanisms remain undefined, thus the present study was to explore whether phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and its downstream molecules are involved in the cytoprotective effect of DIDS.

METHODS: Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to staurosporine (STS) in the presence or absence of DIDS. Cell viability, apoptosis and expressions of Akt, phospho-Akt (p-Akt), eNOS, phospho-eNOS (p-eNOS), Bcl-2/Bax and nitric oxide (NO) production were determined, and Bax translocation was assessed by double immunofluorescence labeling and Western blotting.

RESULTS: DIDS markedly improved cell viability and exerted an anti-apoptotic effect on STS-exposed cardiomyocytes. DIDS resulted in a 2.1-fold increase of p-Akt over control levels, prevented the reduction in eNOS expression and phospho-eNOS levels induced by STS and significantly increased NO production (all P<0.01 vs. STS alone). Treatment with LY294002, a selective PI3K inhibitor, abolished DIDS-induced increases in p-Akt, eNOS, p-eNOS and NO production, and completely abrogated the DIDS-induced anti-apoptotic effect (P<0.01). Treatment with L-NAME, a non-selective NOS inhibitor similarly inhibited the increased NO but only partly abolished protective effects of DIDS (P<0.05). In addition, DIDS effectively inhibited STS-induced Bax translocation to mitochondria, which was also reversed by LY294002.

CONCLUSION: DIDS protects cardiomyocytes against STS-induced apoptosis via activating PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, including increasing eNOS phosphorylation and the subsequent NO production and inhibiting Bax translocation.

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