Docosahexaenoic acid induces expression of nad(P)h: Quinone oxidoreductase and heme oxygenase-1 through activation of nrf2 in cerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells

Yu Jin Ahn, Joo Weon Lim, Hyeyoung Kim

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15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxidative stress is a major risk factor for acute pancreatitis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediate expression of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) which reflects the severity of acute pancreatitis. The nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway is activated to induce the expression of antioxidant enzymes such as NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) as a cytoprotective response to oxidative stress. In addition, binding of Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) to Nrf2 promotes degradation of Nrf2. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—an omega-3 fatty acid—exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Oxidized omega-3 fatty acids react with Keap1 to induce Nrf2-regulated gene expression. In this study, we investigated whether DHA reduces ROS levels and inhibits IL-6 expression via Nrf2 signaling in pancreatic acinar (AR42J) cells stimulated with cerulein, as an in vitro model of acute pancreatitis. The cells were pretreated with or without DHA for 1 h and treated with cerulein (10−8 M) for 1 (ROS levels, protein levels of NQO1, HO-1, pNrf2, Nrf2, and Keap1), 6 (IL-6 mRNA expression), and 24 h (IL-6 protein level in the medium). Our results showed that DHA upregulates the expression of NQO1 and HO-1 in cerulein-stimulated AR42J cells by promoting phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Nrf2. DHA increased interaction between Keap1 and Nrf2 in AR42J cells, which may increase Nrf2 activity by inhibiting Keap1-mediated sequestration of Nrf2. In addition, DHA-induced expression of NQO1 and HO-1 is related to reduction of ROS and IL-6 levels in cerulein-stimulated AR42J cells. In conclusion, DHA inhibits ROS-mediated IL-6 expression by upregulating Nrf2-mediated expression of NQO1 and HO-1 in cerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells. DHA may exert positive modulatory effects on acute pancreatitis by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokine production by activating Nrf2 signaling in pancreatic acinar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1084
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAntioxidants
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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