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Biol Pharm Bull. 2010;33(5):825-9.

Schisandrin B-induced glutathione antioxidant response and cardioprotection are mediated by reactive oxidant species production in rat hearts.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong SAR, China.


To investigate the involvement of reactive oxidant species (ROS), presumably arising from cytochrome P-450 (CYP)-catalyzed metabolism of schisandrin B (Sch B), in triggering glutathione antioxidant response, Sch B induced reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-dependent and CYP-catalyzed reaction and associated ROS production were examined in rat heart microsomes. Sch B analogs were also studied for comparison. Using rat heart microsomes as a source of CYP, Sch B and schisandrin C (Sch C), but not schisandrin A and dimethyl diphenyl bicarboxylate (an intermediate compound derived from the synthesis of Sch C), were found to serve as co-substrate for the CYP-catalyzed NADPH oxidation reaction, with concomitant production of ROS. The stimulation of CYP-catalyzed NADPH oxidation reaction and/or ROS production by Sch B or Sch C correlated with the increase in mitochondrial reduced glutathione level and protection against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in rat hearts. The involvement of ROS in Sch B-induced cardioprotection was further confirmed by the suppressive effect produced by N-acetylcysteine or alpha-tocopherol pretreatment. Taken together, these results suggest that Sch B-induced glutathione antioxidant response and cardioprotection may be mediated by ROS arising from CYP-catalyzed reaction.

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