Bixin Confers Prevention against Ureteral Obstruction-Caused Renal Interstitial Fibrosis through Activation of the Nuclear Factor Erythroid-2-Related Factor2 Pathway in Mice.
J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Aug 5 ;68(31):8321-8329. Epub 2020 Jul 24. PMID: 32706966
Bixin is a natural carotenoid isolated from the seeds of, with numerous important pharmacological activities, including antioxidant and antifibrotic effects. The nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway induced by bixin is involved in the process. Excessive reactive oxygen species generation in tubular cells contributes to kidney interstitial fibrosis. The potential therapeutic strategy for bixin in alleviating kidney fibrosis remains largely unclear. In this study, we used unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) to establish a renal fibrotic model. Dramatic oxidative DNA damage occurs in kidneys, especially in tubular cells after UUO. In cultured tubular cells, bixin could induce Nrf2 signaling activation by suppressing Nrf2 ubiquitination and increasing its protein stability. Transforming growth factor beta 1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and extracellular matrix production were suppressed by bixin, and blockade of Nrf2 activation by small interfering RNA could largely reverse the protective effect of bixin. In vivo studies showed that administration of bixin induces Nrf2 signaling activation in tubular cells and markedly attenuates partial EMT of tubular cells and kidney interstitial fibrosis after subjecting to UUO. Together, this study implies that bixin may protect against kidney interstitial fibrosis through stimulating Nrf2 activation in renal tubular cells.