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Z-ligustilide reduces cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity via activation of NRF2/HO-1 signaling pathways

Xu Chen
Yingjie Cao
Naifeng Guo
Guoyuan Lu


Purpose: To investigate the effect of Z-ligustilide (Z-lig) on cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and examine whether NRF2 signaling mediates the underlying mechanism of action.
Methods: Human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2) were pretreated with 20 or 100 μM Z-lig for 2 h, followed by 10 μM cisplatin treatment for 24 h. Cell viability was measured using (3-(4,5- dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. A commercial kit was used to
determine lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry while Western blotting was used to evaluate protein levels. Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were assessed by enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Cisplatin decreased HK-2 cell viability and increased LDH release, while Z-lig increased cell viability and decreased LDH release in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05). Moreover, Z-lig reduced cisplatin-induced apoptosis (p < 0.01), and alleviated cellular oxidative stress caused by cisplatin (p < 0.05). Furthermore, Z-lig activated NRF2/HO-1 signaling in cells treated with cisplatin (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Z-lig reduces cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity via activation of NRF2/HO-1 signaling. Thus, Z-lig is a potential drug for the treatment of nephrotoxicity caused by cisplatin.

Keywords: Z-ligustilide, Cisplatin, Nephrotoxicity, Oxidative stress, Apoptosis, Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, Heme oxygenase-1