Astragaloside IV-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation ameliorates lead-related cognitive impairments in mice.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2020 Sep 15 ;1868(1):118853. Epub 2020 Sep 15. PMID: 32941941
Recently, oxidative stress is a common denominator in the pathogenesis of metal-induced neurotoxicity. Thus, antioxidant therapy is considered as a promising strategy for treating lead-related cognitive impairment. Here, we tested the hypothesis that astragaloside IV (AS-IV) ameliorates lead-associated cognitive deficits through Nrf2-dependent antioxidant mechanisms. Male Nrf2-KO and WT mice received drinking water with 2000 ppm lead and/or AS-IV by gavage for 8 weeks starting at 4 weeks of age. Morris water maze test and biochemical assays were employed to study cognition-enhancing and antioxidant effects of AS-IV. The signaling pathways involved were analyzed using RT-PCR and western blot technology. Significantly, AS-IV attenuated Morris water maze-based cognitive impairment in lead-intoxicated mice. Importantly, cognition-enhancing effect of AS-IV was lost in Nrf2-KO mice. In parallel, AS-IV suppressed lead acetate (PbAc)-induced oxidative stress, as measured by MDA. Mechanistically, AS-IV can up-regulatethe expressions of the GCLc and HO-1 at the level of transcription and translation, but not SOD, TrxR activity, GCLm, Trx1, and NQO1 expression. Interestingly, AS-IV induced accumulation of Nrf2 in the nucleus, whereas Nrf2 mRNA levels were unchanged. Furthermore, AS-IV treatment resulted in elevated levels of phosphorylated Akt (active form) and phosphorylated GSK-3β (inactive forms) but decreased level of phosphorylated Fyn. Collectively, our findings indicate that AS-IV may target Nrf2 to attenuate lead-triggered oxidative stress and subsequent cognitive impairments, suggesting that AS-IVis a potential candidate for the treatment of lead-associated cognitive diseases.