Protective effect of paeoniflorin on irradiation-induced cell damage involved in modulation of reactive oxygen species and the mitogen-activated protein kinases.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007 ;39(2):426-38. Epub 2006 Oct 12. PMID: 17097910
Chun Rong Li
Ionizing radiation can induce DNA damage and cell death by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). The objective of this study was to investigate the radioprotective effect of paeoniflorin (PF, a main bioactive component in the traditional Chinese herb peony) on irradiated thymocytes and discover the possible mechanisms of protection. We found 60Co gamma-ray irradiation increased cell death and DNA fragmentation in a dose-dependent manner while increasing intracellular ROS. Pretreatment of thymocytes with PF (50-200 microg/ml) reversed this tendency and attenuated irradiation-induced ROS generation. Hydroxyl-scavenging action of PF in vitro was detected through electron spin resonance assay. Several anti-apoptotic characteristics of PF, including the ability to diminish cytosolic Ca2+ concentration, inhibit caspase-3 activation, and upregulate Bcl-2 and downregulate Bax in 4Gy-irradiated thymocytes were determined. Extracellular regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 kinase were activated by 4Gy irradiation, whereas its activations were partly blocked by pretreatment of cells with PF. The presence of ERK inhibitor PD98059, JNK inhibitor SP600125 and p38 inhibitor SB203580 decreased cell death in 4Gy-irradiated thymocytes. These results suggest PF protects thymocytes against irradiation-induced cell damage by scavenging ROS and attenuating the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases.