Aquaporin-3 Attenuates Oxidative Stress-Induced Nucleus Pulposus Cell Apoptosis Through Regulating the P38 MAPK Pathway.Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 50(5):1687-1697.CP
Previous studies have shown that oxidative damage is a main contributor to disc nucleus pulposus (NP) cell apoptosis. Aquaporin-3 (AQP-3) facilitates reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging and thus alleviates oxidative injury in other cells. This study aims to investigate the role and mechanism of AQP-3 in regulating NP cell apoptosis under oxidative damage.
Rat NP cells were treated with H2O2 for 48 hours, while control NP cells were free of H2O2. Recombinant AQP-3 lentiviral vectors were used to investigate the effect of enhanced AQP-3 expression levels in NP cells. NP cell apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry, caspase-3 activity, gene expression of apoptosis-related molecules (Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3), and protein expression of cellular apoptosis markers (cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-3). Additionally, intracellular ROS content and activity of the p38 MAPK pathway were evaluated.
Compared with the control NP cells, oxidative damage in the treatment cells significantly increased cell apoptosis ratios and caspase-3 activity, upregulated gene expression of Bax and caspase-3, downregulated gene expression of Bcl-2, and increased protein expression of cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-3, as well as increased intracellular ROS content and activity of the p38 MAPK pathway. However, AQP-3 overexpression partly alleviated cell apoptosis, decreased intracellular ROS content, and inhibited the p38 MAPK pathway in NP cells under oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage can significantly downregulate AQP-3 expression. Enhancing AQP-3 expression in NP cells partly attenuates cellular apoptosis through regulating the p38 MAPK pathway under oxidative damage.