Protective Effect and Mechanism of Action of Rosmarinic Acid on Radiation-Induced Parotid Gland Injury in Rats.
Dose Response. 2020 Jan-Mar;18(1):1559325820907782. Epub 2020 Feb 20. PMID: 32127788
The parotid glands are damaged by oxidative stress and a series of pathophysiological changes after irradiation. Rosmarinic acid (RA) is a natural antioxidant that provides a radioprotective effect against harmful damage from ionizing radiation. The present study aims to explore the protective effects of RA on radiation-induced parotid gland injury and its underlying mechanism. Sprague-Dawley rats were irradiated with 15 Gy X-ray and treated with different concentrations of RA (30, 60, and 120 mg/kg) or amifostine (AMI, 250 mg/kg). Saliva secretion function, oxidative stress, apoptosis, the inflammatory response, and fibrosis were determined by the measurement of the salivary flow rate, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, transferase-mediated DUTP Nick end labeling, Western blot, quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction, and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Here, we show that RA treatment significantly attenuated reactive oxygen species by a direct hindrance effect and the indirect activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 4 signaling. Rosmarinic acid not only reduced apoptosis by inhibiting p53/jun N-terminal kinase activation but also reduced parotid gland tissue fibrosis by downregulating inflammatory factor levels. Compared to AMI, RA has the obvious advantages of late efficacy and convenient usage. Moreover, 60 mg/kg is the minimum effective dose of RA. Therefore, RA can potentially be applied as a therapeutic radioprotective agent to treat radiation-induced parotid gland injury in the future.