N-acetyl-L-cysteine counteracts oxidative stress and prevents H2O2 induced germ cell apoptosis through down-regulation of caspase-9 and JNK/c-Jun.Mol Reprod Dev. 2011 Feb; 78(2):69-79.MR
The mechanism of H(2)O(2) induced oxidative stress leading to male germ cell apoptosis was earlier reported from our laboratory. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC, which is highly cell specific with strong antioxidant and anti-genotoxic properties), stimulated cell survival under such conditions. Co-incubation with 5 mM NAC significantly (P<0.001) reduced the germ cell apoptosis induced by 10 µM H(2)O(2). Lipid peroxidation was brought down with significant restoration of activities of antioxidant enzymes, SOD, GST, and catalase. Expression of pro-apoptotic marker, Bax up-regulated following H(2)O(2) exposure, was reversed back to control levels. In contrast, expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and phospho-Akt revealed a completely opposite trend. While caspase-8 activity remained unaffected, NAC successfully attenuated the increased activities of caspase-3 and -9 in the H(2) O(2) treated cells. Simultaneously, the increased expression of caspase-9, phospho-JNK, and phospho-c-Jun after H(2)O(2) treatment was down-regulated by NAC. The above findings indicate that the mechanism of inhibition of H(2)O(2) induced male germ cell apoptosis by NAC is mediated through regulation of caspase-9 and JNK.