Chemico-biological interactions

Puerarin protects against cadmium-induced proximal tubular cell apoptosis by restoring mitochondrial function.

PMID 27717697


Puerarin (PU) is a potent free radical scavenger with a protective effect in nephrotoxin-mediated oxidative damage. Here, we show a novel molecular mechanism by which PU exerts its anti-apoptotic effects in cadmium (Cd)-exposed primary rat proximal tubular (rPT) cells. Morphological assessment and flow cytometric analysis revealed that PU significantly decreased Cd-induced apoptotic cell death of rPT cells. Administration of PU protected cells against Cd-induced depletion of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and lipid peroxidation. Cd-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening, disruption of mitochondrial ultrastructure, mitochondrial cytochrome c (cyt-c) release, caspase-3 activation and subsequently poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage could be effectively blocked by the addition of PU. Moreover, up-regulation of Bcl-2 and down-regulation of Bax and hence increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio were observed with the PU administration. In addition, PU reversed Cd-induced ATP depletion by restoring ΔΨm to affect ATP production and by regulating expression levels of ANT-1 and ANT-2 to improve ATP transport. In summary, PU inhibited Cd-induced apoptosis in rPT cells by ameliorating the mitochondrial dysfunction.