JOURNAL ARTICLE

Inhibition of JNK by novel curcumin analog C66 prevents diabetic cardiomyopathy with a preservation of cardiac metallothionein expression

Yonggang Wang, Shanshan Zhou, Wanqing Sun, Kristen McClung, Yong Pan, Guang Liang, Yi Tan, Yunjie Zhao, Quan Liu, Jian Sun, Lu Cai
American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 2014 June 1, 306 (11): E1239-47
24714399
The development of diabetic cardiomyopathy is attributed to diabetic oxidative stress, which may be related to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. The present study tested a hypothesis whether the curcumin analog C66 [(2E,6E)-2,6-bis(2-(trifluoromethyl)benzylidene) cyclohexanone] as a potent antioxidant can protect diabetes-induced cardiac functional and pathogenic changes via inhibition of JNK function. Diabetes was induced with a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin in male C57BL/6 mice. Diabetic and age-matched control mice were randomly divided into three groups, each group treated with C66, JNK inhibitor (JNKi, SP600125), or vehicle (1% CMC-Na solution) by gavage at 5 mg/kg every other day for 3 mo. Neither C66 nor JNKi impacted diabetic hyperglycemia and inhibition of body-weight gain, but both significantly prevented diabetes-induced JNK phosphorylation in the heart. Compared with basal line, cardiac function was significantly decreased in diabetic mice at 3 mo of diabetes but not in C66- or JNKi-treated diabetic mice. Cardiac fibrosis, oxidative damage, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and cell apoptosis, examined by Sirius red staining, Western blot, and thiobarbituric acid assay, were also significantly increased in diabetic mice, all which were prevented by C66 or JNKi treatment under diabetic conditions. Cardiac metallothionein expression was significantly decreased in diabetic mice but was almost normal in C66- or JNKi-treated diabetic mice. These results suggest that, like JNKi, C66 is able to prevent diabetic upregulation of JNK function, resulting in a prevention of diabetes-induced cardiac fibrosis, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and cell death, along with a preservation of cardiac metallothionein expression.

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