General physiology and biophysics

The cytoprotective effect of isorhamnetin against oxidative stress is mediated by the upregulation of the Nrf2-dependent HO-1 expression in C2C12 myoblasts through scavenging reactive oxygen species and ERK inactivation.

PMID 26830132


This study was designed to confirm the protective effects of isorhamnetin against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage. Our results indicated that isorhamnetin inhibited the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced growth inhibition and exhibited scavenging activity against the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mouse-derived C2C12 myoblasts. Isorhamnetin also significantly attenuated H2O2-induced DNA damage and apoptosis, and increased the levels of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its phosphorylation associated with the induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). However, the protective effects of isorhamnetin on H2O2-induced ROS and growth inhibition were significantly abolished by an HO-1 competitive inhibitor. Moreover, the potential of isorhamnetin to mediate HO-1 induction and protect against H2O2-mediated growth inhibition was abrogated by transient transfection with Nrf2-specific small interfering RNA. Additionally, isorhamnetin induced the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK. However, the specific inhibitor of ERK, but not JNK and p38 MAPK, was able to abolish the HO-1 upregulation and the Nrf2 phosphorylation. Collectively, these results demonstrate that isorhamnetin augments the cellular antioxidant defense capacity by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway involving the activation of the ERK pathway, thus protecting the C2C12 cells from H2O2-induced cytotoxicity.