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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Jan 8;2019:4509403. doi: 10.1155/2019/4509403. eCollection 2019.

Protective Effects of Broussonetia kazinoki Siebold Fruit Extract against Palmitate-Induced Lipotoxicity in Mesangial Cells.

Kim D1, Kim HJ1,2, Cha SH1,2,3, Jun HS1,2,3.

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Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, Gachon University, Incheon 21999, Republic of Korea.
College of Pharmacy, Gachon University, Incheon 21936, Republic of Korea.
Gachon Medical and Convergence Institute, Gachon Gil Medical Center, Incheon 21565, Republic of Korea.


Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Lipotoxicity in glomerular mesangial cells is associated with the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Paper mulberry, Broussonetia kazinoki Siebold (BK), has been used in oriental medicine for human health problems. However, to date, the beneficial effect of BK fruit has not been studied. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of an ethanolic extract of BK fruit (BKFE) against palmitate- (PA-) induced toxicity in mesangial cells. BKFE significantly increased the viability of PA-treated SV40 MES13 cells. BKFE significantly inhibited PA-induced apoptosis and decreased the expression of apoptotic genes, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved PARP. Moreover, BKFE inhibited the expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related genes, such as BiP, phosphorylated eIF2α, cleaved ATF6, and spliced XBP-1, in PA-treated SV40 MES13 cells. BKFE decreased PA-induced ROS production. In addition, BKFE activated the transcription factor Nrf2 and increased the expression of antioxidant enzymes. However, knockdown of Nrf2 using siRNA suppressed this BKFE-induced increase in antioxidant enzyme expression. Furthermore, the protective effect of BKFE on PA-induced apoptosis was significantly reduced by Nrf2 knockdown. In conclusion, BKFE induced the expression of antioxidant enzymes via activation of Nrf2 and protected against PA-induced lipotoxicity in mesangial cells.

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