Ginsenoside Rg1 Protects Cardiomyocytes Against Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Injury via Activation of Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling and Inhibition of JNK.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017 ;44(1):21-37. Epub 2017 Nov 3. PMID: 29130959
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) disturb the physiology of H9c2 cells, which is regarded as a major cause of H9c2 cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Ginsenoside Rg1 is the main active extract of ginseng, which has important antioxidant properties in various cell models. This project investigated the role of ginsenoside Rg1 in hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-induced oxidative stress injury in cultured H9c2 cells to reveal the underlying signaling pathways.
METHODS: H9c2 cells were pretreated with ginsenoside Rg1 for 12 h before exposure to H/R. In the absence or presence of Nrf2siRNA, HO-1 inhibitor (ZnPP-IX), and inhibitors of the MAPK pathway (SB203580, PD98059, SP600125), H9c2 cells were subjected to H/R with Rg1 treatment. The effects and mechanisms of H/R-induced cardiomyocyte injury were measured.
RESULTS: Ginsenoside Rg1 treatment suppressed H/R-induced apoptosis and caspase-3 activation. Ginsenoside Rg1 treatment decreased ROS production and mitochondrial membrane depolarization by elevating the intracellular antioxidant capacity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and reduced glutathione (GSH). Furthermore, ginsenoside Rg1 stimulation appeared to result in nuclear translocation of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), along with enhanced expression of the downstream target gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in a dose-dependent manner. However, ginsenoside Rg1-mediated cardioprotection was abolished by Nrf2-siRNA and HO-1 inhibitor. H/R treatment increased the levels of phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinases (p-JNK), which was dramatically attenuated by ginsenoside Rg1 and SP600125 (a specific JNK inhibitor).
CONCLUSION: These observations indicate that ginsenoside Rg1 activates the Nrf2/HO-1 axis and inhibits the JNK pathway in H9c2 cells to protect against oxidative stress.