Archives of pharmacal research

Rosmarinic acid inhibits chemical hypoxia-induced cytotoxicity in primary cultured rat hepatocytes.

PMID 24085626


We examine the effect of rosmarinic acid (RA) in chemical hypoxia-induced injury in rat hepatocytes. Cell viability was significantly decreased by cobalt chloride (CoCl2), a well-known hypoxia mimetic agent in a time- and dose- dependent manner. RA pretreatment before exposure to CoCl2 significantly attenuated the CoCl2-induced decrease of cell viability. Additionally, pretreatment with RA potentiated the decrease of Bcl-2 expression and attenuated the increase of Caspase-3 expression by CoCl2. CoCl2 treatment resulted in an increase of intracellular ROS generation, which is inhibited by RA or N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, a ROS scavenger), and p38MAPK phosphorylation, which is also blocked by RA or NAC. CoCl2-induced increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Caspase-3 expression was attenuated by RA, NAC and SB203580 (p38MAPK inhibitor). CoCl2-induced decrease of cell viability was also attenuated by RA, NAC and SB203580 pretreatment. Additionally, RA inhibited CoCl2-induced COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) secretion. Similar to the effect of RA, both NAC and NS-398 (COX-2 inhibitor) blocked CoCl2-induced COX-2 expression and PGE2 secretion. NS-398 attenuated not only CoCl2-induced increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Caspase-3 expression, but decrease of cell viability. Taken together, RA protects primary cultured rat hepatocytes against CoCl2-induced cell injury through inhibition of ROS-activated p38MAPK and COX-2/PGE2 pathway.