Effects of Panax notoginseng saponins on severe acute pancreatitis through the regulation of mTOR/Akt and caspase-3 signaling pathway by upregulating miR-181b expression in rats.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Feb 5 ;18(1):51. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID: 29402262
BACKGROUND: In China, Panax notoginseng has been used to treat oxidative stress-related diseases for a long time. Panax notoginseng saponins is an extract from Panax notoginseng Ledeb. Its therapeutic potential is related to antioxidant activity, but related mechanisms are still unclear. The study aims to assess the protection effects of Panax notoginseng saponins in the taurocholate-induced rat model of acute pancreatitis (AP) and explore underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: A rat model of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) was established in rats induced with taurocholate. Panax notoginseng saponins was firstly administered in the treatment group via intravenous injection. After 2 h, taurocholate administration was performed. After 24 h, the expression levels of miR-181b, Beclin1, LC3-II, Akt and mTOR from pancreas tissues were measured by Western Blotting and RT-PCR. Then the expression levels of Caspase-3 and Blc-2 were determined by immunohistochemistry. Apoptosis was assessed by the TUNEL assay. Amylase and lipase in serum were determined by ELISA and pancreatic water contents in pancreatic tissue were measured. After eosin and hematoxylin staining, the histologic analysis was performed.
RESULTS: After SAP induction by taurocholate and the treatment with Panax notoginseng saponins for 24 h, we detected the up-regulated miR-181b, the reduced Bcl-2 expression, the increased activity of mTOR/Akt, the blocked Beclin1 and LC3-II expressions, and the enhanced Caspase-3 expression. Serum lipase and amylase levels were significantly decreased in the treatment group of Panax notoginseng saponins compared to the control group. Histological analysis results verified the attenuation effects of Panax notoginseng saponins on taurocholate-induced pancreas injury, apoptosis, and autophagy.
CONCLUSION: By up-regulating the miR-181b expression level, Panax notoginseng saponins significantly reduced taurocholate-induced pancreas injury and autophagy and increased apoptosis. The significant protection effects of Panax notoginseng saponins suggested its potential in treating taurocholate induced-acute pancreatitis.