Glycyrrhizin improved autophagy flux via HMGB1-dependent Akt/mTOR signaling pathway to prevent Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.
Toxicology. 2020 08 ;441:152508. Epub 2020 Jun 7. PMID: 32525084
Doxorubicin (DOX) is one of the most effective and irreplaceable chemotherapeutic agents but its clinical use is limited due to its cardiotoxicity. Glycyrrhizin(GL) has been applied to liver disorders for long. However, little is known that if GL could be meaningful in attenuating cardiotoxicity. The aim of this study is to investigate the cardioprotective effects of GL in DOX-induced cardiotoxicity (DIC) and the underlying mechanism. Here, H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs), and Rats were introduced as test models. A single dose of 20 mg/kg DOX (i.p.) was applied to induce acute cardiotoxicity in vivo, as reflected by growth inhibition, increased levels of AST and CK-MB, and reduction of SOD activity, while GL (25 or 50 mg/kg/d, 14 d, i.p.) could counteract these effects. Moreover, pre-incubation with GL (0.8 mM for 12 h) in H9c2 cells protected against DOX-induced cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Besides, Western blot analysis showed that DOX upregulated the expression of LC3 II and p62 whereas GL reversed that both in vitro and in vivo and improved the obstructed autophagy flux in DOX-treated H9c2 cells with an autophagy inhibitor Bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1, 50 nM, 2 h). It has been previously documented that High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was involved in DIC. In our work, knockdown of HMGB1 significantly increased cell viability and LC3 II level in H9c2, suggesting HMGB1 was crucial in DOX-induced autophagy-triggering cell death. Intriguingly, GL is a direct inhibitor of HMGB1. We found that GL downregulated Akt/mTOR autophagy signaling pathway in DOX-treated H9c2 cells. More importantly, in non-silencing H9c2 cells (transfected with negative control siRNA) cells, the expression of phospho-Akt, phospho-mTOR, p62, and LC3 II was significantly decreased with GL pretreament compared to DOX alone. However, in H9c2/HMGB1(transfected with HMGB1 siRNA) cells exposed to DOX, the expression of p-Akt, p-mTOR, p62, LC3 II had no statistical difference with or without GL, revealing that HMGB1 mediated the cardioprotective action of GL in DIC. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that improved autophagy flux via HMGB1-dependent Akt/mTOR signaling pathway might contribute to attenuate DIC and go a novel insight into the underlying mechanisms of GL's cardioprotective action. GL could be a potential candidate for the prevention of DIC.