Aspirin eugenol ester ameliorates paraquat-induced oxidative damage through ROS/p38-MAPK-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.Toxicology. 2021 04 15; 453:152721.T
Paraquat (PQ) is an effective and commercially important herbicide that is widely used worldwide. However, PQ is highly toxic and can cause various complications and acute organ damage. Aspirin eugenol ester (AEE) is a potential new compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant stress pharmacological activity. The present study was to reveal the therapeutic effects and the protective effect of AEE against PQ-induced acute lung injury (ALI) with the help of PQ-induced oxidative damage in A549 cells and PQ-induced lung injury in rats. AEE might have no significant therapeutic effect on PQ-induced lung injury in rats. However, AEE had a significant protective effect on PQ-induced lung injury in rats. AEE pretreatment significantly reduced the stimulatory effect of PQ on malondialdehyde (MDA), the inhibitory effect of PQ on catalase (CAT) activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, the ratio of GSH/GSSH, the activity of caspase-3 and the overexpression of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in vivo. In vitro, A549 cells were treated with 250 μM PQ for 24 h. Incubation of A549 cells with PQ led to apoptosis, and increased the level of superoxide anions, reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde and the activity of caspase-3 and up-regulation of phosphorylated p38-MAPK, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and the activity of SOD. However, after 24 h on AEE pretreatment of A549 cells, the above-mentioned adverse reactions caused by PQ were significantly alleviated. In addition, AEE pretreatment reduced p38-MAPK phosphorylation in PQ-treated A549 cells. SB203580, the specific p38-MAPK inhibitor, and p38-MAPK shRNA attenuated the activation of the p38-MAPK signaling pathway. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduced the level of phosphorylated p38-MAPK and the production of intracellular ROS and inhibited apoptosis. The results showed that AEE may inhibit PQ-induced cell damage through ROS/p38-MAPK-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.