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Ethyl pyruvate induces heme oxygenase-1 through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation by depletion of glutathione in RAW 264.7 cells and improves survival in septic animals.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea.
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling (Impact Factor: 8.2). 02/2012; 17(6):878-89. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2011.3994
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the molecular mechanism by which ethyl pyruvate (EP) induces heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in RAW 264.7 cells and its effect on survival rate in cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced wild-type (WT) and HO-1 knockout (HO-1(-/-)) septic mice.
EP induced HO-1 in a dose- and time-dependent manner, which was mediated through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling cascade in RAW 264.7 cells. EP significantly inhibited the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) release in RAW 264.7 cells. The inhibitory effect of EP on LPS-stimulated iNOS expression and HMGB1 release was reversed by transfection with siHO-1RNA in RAW 264.7 cells, but EP failed to reduce them in HO-1(-/-) peritoneal macrophages treated with LPS. Moreover, treatment of cells with glutathione ethyl ester (GSH-Et), SB203580 (p38 MAPK inhibitor), siHO-1, or p38-siRNA transfection inhibited anti-inflammatory effect of EP. Interestingly, both HO-1 induction and phosphorylation of p38 by EP were reversed by GSH-Et, and antioxidant redox element-luciferase activity by EP was reversed by SB203580 in LPS-activated cells. EP increased survival and decreased serum HMGB1 in CLP-WT mice, whereas it did not increase survival or decrease circulating HMGB1 in HO-1(-/-) CLP-mice. Innovation and
Our work provides new insights into the understanding the molecular mechanism by showing that EP induces HO-1 through a p38 MAPK- and NRF2-dependent pathway by decreasing GSH cellular levels. We conclude that EP inhibits proinflammatory response to LPS in macrophages and increases survival in CLP-induced septic mice by upregulation of HO-1 level, in which p38 MAPK and Nrf2 play an important role.

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