Lico A Enhances Nrf2-Mediated Defense Mechanisms against t-BHP-Induced Oxidative Stress and Cell Death via Akt and ERK Activation in RAW 264.7 Cells.Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015; 2015:709845.OM
Licochalcone A (Lico A) exhibits various biological properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In this study, we investigated the antioxidative potential and mechanisms of Lico A against tert-butyl hydroperoxide- (t-BHP-) induced oxidative damage in RAW 264.7 cells. Our results indicated that Lico A significantly inhibited t-BHP-induced cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and reduced glutathione (GSH) depletion but increased the glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier (GCLM) subunit and the glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic (GCLC) subunit genes expression. Additionally, Lico A dramatically upregulated the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which were associated with inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation, decreasing Keap1 protein expression and increasing antioxidant response element (ARE) promoter activity. Lico A also obviously induced the activation of serine/threonine kinase (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but PI3K/Akt and ERK inhibitors treatment displayed clearly decreased levels of LicoA-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation and HO-1 expression, respectively. Furthermore, Lico A treatment markedly attenuated t-BHP-induced oxidative damage, which was reduced by treatment with PI3K/Akt, ERK, and HO-1 inhibitors. Therefore, Lico A might have a protective role against t-BHP-induced cytotoxicity by modulating HO-1 and by scavenging ROS via the activation of the PI3K/Akt and ERK/Nrf2 signaling pathways.