Lico A Enhances Nrf2-Mediated Defense Mechanisms against t-BHP-Induced Oxidative Stress and Cell Death via Akt and ERK Activation in RAW 264.7 Cells

Hongming Lv, Hua Ren, Lidong Wang, Wei Chen, Xinxin Ci
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2015, 2015: 709845
Licochalcone A (Lico A) exhibits various biological properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In this study, we investigated the antioxidative potential and mechanisms of Lico A against tert-butyl hydroperoxide- (t-BHP-) induced oxidative damage in RAW 264.7 cells. Our results indicated that Lico A significantly inhibited t-BHP-induced cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and reduced glutathione (GSH) depletion but increased the glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier (GCLM) subunit and the glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic (GCLC) subunit genes expression. Additionally, Lico A dramatically upregulated the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which were associated with inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation, decreasing Keap1 protein expression and increasing antioxidant response element (ARE) promoter activity. Lico A also obviously induced the activation of serine/threonine kinase (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but PI3K/Akt and ERK inhibitors treatment displayed clearly decreased levels of LicoA-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation and HO-1 expression, respectively. Furthermore, Lico A treatment markedly attenuated t-BHP-induced oxidative damage, which was reduced by treatment with PI3K/Akt, ERK, and HO-1 inhibitors. Therefore, Lico A might have a protective role against t-BHP-induced cytotoxicity by modulating HO-1 and by scavenging ROS via the activation of the PI3K/Akt and ERK/Nrf2 signaling pathways.

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