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Monday 15 October 2007

Cytoprotective properties of alpha-tocopherol are related to gene regulation in cultured D-galactosamine-treated human hepatocytes.

By: González R, Collado JA, Nell S, Briceño J, Tamayo MJ, Fraga E, Bernardos A, López-Cillero P, Pascussi JM, Rufián S, Vilarem MJ, De la Mata M, Brigelius-Flohe R, Maurel P, Muntané J.

Free Radic Biol Med 2007 Nov;43(10):1439-52

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) has demonstrated antioxidant activity and gene-regulatory properties. d-Galactosamine (D-GalN)-induced cell death is mediated by nitric oxide in hepatocytes, and it is associated with hepatic steatosis. The beneficial properties of alpha-tocopherol and their relation to oxidative stress and gene regulation were assessed in D-GalN-induced cell death. Hepatocytes were isolated from human liver resections by a collagenase perfusion technique. alpha-Tocopherol (50 microM) was administered at the advanced stages (10 h) of D-GalN-induced cell death in cultured hepatocytes. Cell death, oxidative stress, alpha-tocopherol metabolism, and NF-kappaB-, pregnane X receptor (PXR)-, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-alpha)-associated gene regulation were estimated in the hepatocytes. D-GalN increased cell death and alpha-tocopherol metabolism. alpha-Tocopherol exerted a moderate beneficial effect against apoptosis and necrosis induced by D-GalN. Induction (rifampicin) or inhibition (ketoconazole) of alpha-tocopherol metabolism and overexpression of PXR showed that the increase in PXR-related CYP3A4 expression caused by alpha-tocopherol enhanced cell death in hepatocytes. Nevertheless, the reduction in NF-kappaB activation and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and the enhancement of PPAR-alpha and carnitine palmitoyl transferase gene expression by alpha-tocopherol may be relevant for cell survival. In conclusion, the cytoprotective properties of alpha-tocopherol are mostly related to gene regulation rather than to antioxidant activity in toxin-induced cell death in hepatocytes.

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