Free radical biology & medicine

Contribution of type 1 diabetes to rat liver dysfunction and cellular damage via activation of NOS, PARP, IkappaBalpha/NF-kappaB, MAPKs, and mitochondria-dependent pathways: Prophylactic role of arjunolic acid.

PMID 20188823


Diabetic mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder, is one of the most important health problems in the world, especially in developing countries. Our earlier investigations reported the beneficial action of arjunolic acid (AA) against streptozotocin-mediated type 1 hyperglycemia. We have demonstrated that AA possesses protective roles against drug- and chemical- (environmental toxins) induced hepatotoxicity. Liver is the main organ of detoxification. The purpose of this study was to explore whether AA plays any protective role against hyperglycemic hepatic dysfunctions and, if so, what molecular pathways it utilizes for the mechanism of its protective action. In experimental rats, type 1 hyperglycemia was induced by streptozotocin. AA was administered orally at a dose of 20mg/kg body wt both before and after diabetic induction. An insulin-treated group was included in the study as a positive control for type 1 diabetes. Hyperglycemia caused a loss in body weight, reduction in serum insulin level, and increased formation of HbA(1C) as well as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Elevated levels of serum ALT and ALP, increased production of ROS and RNS, increased lipid peroxidation, increased 8-OHdG/2-dG ratio, and decreased GSH content and cellular antioxidant defense established the hyperglycemic liver dysfunction. Activation of iNOS, IkappaBalpha/NF-kappaB, and MAPK pathways as well as signals from mitochondria were found to be involved in initiating apoptotic cell death. Hyperglycemia caused overexpression of PARP, reduction in intracellular NAD as well as ATP level, and increased DNA fragmentation in the liver tissue of the diabetic animals. Results of immunofluorescence (using anti-caspase-3 and anti-Apaf-1 antibodies), DAPI/PI staining, and DNA ladder formation and information obtained from FACS analysis confirmed the apoptotic cell death in diabetic liver tissue. Histological studies also support the experimental findings. AA treatment prevented or ameliorated the diabetic liver complications and apoptotic cell death. The effectiveness of AA in preventing the formation of ROS, RNS, HbA(1C), AGEs, and oxidative stress signaling cascades and protecting against PARP-mediated DNA fragmentation can speak about its potential uses for diabetic patients.

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Arjunolic acid, ≥95% (LC/MS-ELSD)