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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Dec 18;2019:4657651. doi: 10.1155/2019/4657651. eCollection 2019.

tert-Butylhydroquinone Treatment Alleviates Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Rats by Activating the Nrf2/Sirt3/SOD2 Signaling Pathway.

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Department of Nephrology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510630, China.
Department of Nephrology, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian 350001, China.


Oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). Since the specific treatment of CIN remains an unmet medical need, it is imperative to find an effective strategy against the clinical management of CIN. The transcription factor Nrf2 is known to regulate antioxidative stress response. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of tert-butylhydroquinone (t-BHQ), an activator of Nrf2, in the prevention of CIN and elucidate the underlying mechanism of its action in vitro and in vivo. We established a rat model of CIN and treated the animals with t-BHQ (25 mg/kg). The effects of t-BHQ treatment on CIN rats were elucidated by assessing renal function, HE staining, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting. We also studied the activity of oxidative stress-related markers, such as intracellular ROS level, MDA level, SOD2 activity, and GSH/GSSG ratio. We validated our results by siRNA-mediated silencing of Nrf2 in HK-2 cells exposed to the radiocontrast agent. Treatment with t-BHQ significantly ameliorated the renal function and the histopathological lesions in CIN rats. Further, pretreatment with t-BHQ significantly increased the SOD2 activity and GSH/GSSG ratio and decreased the levels of ROS and MDA in animals subjected to ioversol exposure. In addition, t-BHQ treatment increased the expression of Nrf2, Sirt3, and SOD2 and concomitantly decreased the expression of acetylated-SOD2. When Nrf2-silenced HK-2 cells were exposed to radiocontrast agent, they suffered severe cell oxidative stress, exhibited lower expression of Sirt3 and SOD2, and expressed higher levels of acetylated-SOD2; however, t-BHQ treatment did not affect the protein expression of these indicators in si-Nrf2 HK-2 cells. Our findings suggested that Nrf2 plays an important role in the regulation of the Sirt3/SOD2 antioxidative pathway, and t-BHQ may be a potential agent to ameliorate radiocontrast-induced nephropathy via activating the Nrf2/Sirt3/SOD2 signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.

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