Isoliquiritigenin Provides Protection and Attenuates Oxidative Stress-Induced Injuries via the Nrf2-ARE Signaling Pathway After Traumatic Brain Injury.
Neurochem Res. 2018 Dec ;43(12):2435-2445. Epub 2018 Nov 16. PMID: 30446968
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health and medical problem worldwide. Oxidative stress plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of TBI. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), an important factor in the cellular defense against oxidative stress, is activated following TBI. In this study, the protective effects of Isoliquiritigenin (ILG), a promising antioxidant stress drug, was evaluated as a protective agent against TBI. In a mouse model of controlled cortical impact Injury, we found that the ILG administration reduced the Garcia neuroscore, injury histopathology, brain water content, cerebral vascular permeability, the expression of cleaved caspase3, aquaporin-4, glial fibrillary acidic protein and the increased the expression of neurofilament light chain protein, indicating the protective effects against TBI in vivo. ILG treatment after TBI also restored the oxidative stress and promoted the Nrf2 protein transfer from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. We then used Nrf2-/- mice to test the protective effect of Nrf2 during ILG treatment of TBI. Our findings indicated that Nrf2-/- mice had greater brain injury and oxidative stress than wild-type (WT) mice and ILG was less effective at inhibiting oxidative stress and repairing the brain injury than in the WT mice. In vitro studies in SY5Y cells under oxygen glucose deprivation/re-oxygenation stimulation yielded results that were consistent with those obtained in vivo showing that ILG promotes Nrf2 protein transfer from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Nrf2 is an important protective factor against TBI-induced injuries, which indicates that the protective effects of ILG are mediated by inhibiting oxidative stress after TBI via a mechanism that involves the promotion of Nrf2 protein transfer from the cytoplasm to the nucleus.