Tocotrienols have potent antifibrogenic effects in human intestinal fibroblasts

Luna J, Masamunt MC, Rickmann M, Mora R, España C, Delgado S, Llach J, Vaquero E, Sans M.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Mar;17(3):732-41

Background: Excessive fibroblast expansion and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition are key events for the development of bowel stenosis in Crohn’s disease (CD) patients. Tocotrienols are vitamin E compounds with proven in vitro antifibrogenic effects on rat pancreatic fibroblasts. We aimed at investigating the effects of tocotrienols on human intestinal fibroblast (HIF) proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, and synthesis of ECM.

Methods: HIF isolated from CD, ulcerative colitis (UC), and normal intestine were treated with tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil. HIF proliferation was quantified by (3) H-thymidine incorporation, apoptosis was studied by DNA fragmentation, propidium iodide staining, caspase activation, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, autophagy was analyzed by quantification of LC3 protein and identification of autophagic vesicles by immunofluorescence and production of ECM components was measured by Western blot.

Results: TRF significantly reduced HIF proliferation and prevented basic fibroblast growth factor-induced proliferation in CD and UC, but not control HIF. TRF enhanced HIF death by promoting apoptosis and autophagy. HIF apoptosis, but not autophagy, was prevented by the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk, whereas both types of cell death were prevented when the mitochondrial permeability transition pore was blocked by cyclosporin A, demonstrating a key role of the mitochondria in these processes. TRF diminished procollagen type I and laminin γ-1 production by HIF.

Conclusions: Tocotrienols exert multiple effects on HIF, reducing cell proliferation, enhancing programmed cell death through apoptosis and autophagy, and decreasing ECM production. Considering their in vitro antifibrogenic properties, tocotrienols could be useful to treat or prevent bowel fibrosis in CD patients.

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Tocotrienol-rich fraction prevents cell cycle arrest and elongates telomere length in senescent human diploid fibroblasts

Makpol S, Durani LW, Chua KH, Mohd Yusof YA, Ngah WZ.

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:506171. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

This study determined the molecular mechanisms of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in preventing cellular senescence of human diploid fibroblasts (HDFs). Primary culture of HDFs at various passages were incubated with 0.5 mg/mL TRF for 24 h. Telomere shortening with decreased telomerase activity was observed in senescent HDFs while the levels of damaged DNA and number of cells in G(0)/G(1) phase were increased and S phase cells were decreased. Incubation with TRF reversed the morphology of senescent HDFs to resemble that of young cells with decreased activity of SA-β-gal, damaged DNA, and cells in G(0)/G(1) phase while cells in the S phase were increased. Elongated telomere length and restoration of telomerase activity were observed in TRF-treated senescent HDFs. These findings confirmed the ability of tocotrienol-rich fraction in preventing HDFs cellular ageing by restoring telomere length and telomerase activity, reducing damaged DNA, and reversing cell cycle arrest associated with senescence.

Vitamin E, an essential nutrient with powerful antioxidant activity, is the mixture of two classes of compounds, tocopherols (TPs) and tocotrienols (TTs). Although TTs exhibit better bone protective activity than α-TP, the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated whether α-TT and α-TP can modulate osteoclastic bone resorption. We found that α-TT but not α-TP inhibits osteoclastogenesis in coculture of osteoblasts and bone marrow cells induced by either IL-1 or combined treatment with 1α,25(OH)(2) vitamin D(3) and prostaglandin E(2). In accordance with this, only α-TT inhibited receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expression in osteoblasts. In addition, α-TT but not α-TP inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation from precursors by suppression of c-Fos expression, possibly through inhibiting ERK and NF-κB activation. This anti-osteoclastogenic effect was reversed when c-Fos or an active form of NFATc1, a critical downstream of c-Fos during osteoclastogenesis, was overexpressed. Furthermore, only α-TT reduced bone resorbing activity of mature osteoclasts without affecting their survival. Overall, our results demonstrate that α-TT but not α-TP has anti-bone resorptive properties by inhibiting osteoclast differentiation and activation, suggesting that α-TT may have therapeutic value for treating and preventing bone diseases characterized by excessive bone destruction.

A Regenerative Antioxidant Protocol of Vitamin E and α-Lipoic Acid Ameliorates Cardiovascular and Metabolic Changes in Fructose-Fed Rats

Patel J, Matnor NA, Iyer A, Brown L.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:120801

Type 2 diabetes is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. We have determined whether the metabolic and cardiovascular changes induced by a diet high in fructose in young adult male Wistar rats could be prevented or reversed by chronic intervention with natural antioxidants. We administered a regenerative antioxidant protocol using two natural compounds: α-lipoic acid together with vitamin E (α-tocopherol alone or a tocotrienol-rich fraction), given as either a prevention or reversal protocol in the food. These rats developed glucose intolerance, hypertension, and increased collagen deposition in the heart together with an increased ventricular stiffness. Treatment with a fixed combination of vitamin E (either α-tocopherol or tocotrienol-rich fraction, 0.84 g/kg food) and α-lipoic acid (1.6 g/kg food) normalized glucose tolerance, blood pressure, cardiac collagen deposition, and ventricular stiffness in both prevention and reversal protocols in these fructose-fed rats. These results suggest that adequate antioxidant therapy can both prevent and reverse the metabolic and cardiovascular damage in type 2 diabetes.

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Pentoxifylline enhances the radioprotective properties of γ-tocotrienol: Differential effects on the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal and vascular systems

Berbée M, Fu Q, Garg S, Kulkarni S, Kumar KS, Hauer-Jensen M.

Radiat Res. 2011 Mar;175(3):297-306.

The vitamin E analog γ-tocotrienol (GT3) is a potent radioprotector and mitigator. This study was performed to (a) determine whether the efficacy of GT3 can be enhanced by the addition of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor pentoxifylline (PTX) and (b) to obtain information about the mechanism of action. Mice were injected subcutaneously with vehicle, GT3 [400 mg/kg 24 h before total-body irradiation (TBI)], PTX (200 mg/kg 30 min before TBI), or GT3+PTX before being exposed to 8.5-13 Gy TBI. Overall lethality, survival time and intestinal, hematopoietic and vascular injury were assessed. Cytokine levels in the bone marrow microenvironment were measured, and the requirement for endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was studied in eNOS-deficient mice. GT3+PTX significantly improved survival compared to GT3 alone and provided full protection against lethality even after exposure to 12.5 Gy. GT3+PTX improved bone marrow CFUs, spleen colony counts and platelet recovery compared to GT3 alone. GT3 and GT3+PTX increased bone marrow plasma G-CSF levels as well as the availability of IL-1α, IL-6 and IL-9 in the early postirradiation phase. GT3 and GT3+PTX were equally effective in ameliorating intestinal injury and vascular peroxynitrite production. Survival studies in eNOS-deficient mice and appropriate controls revealed that eNOS was not required for protection against lethality after TBI. Combined treatment with GT3 and PTX increased postirradiation survival over that with GT3 alone by a mechanism that may depend on induction of hematopoietic stimuli. GT3+PTX did not reduce GI toxicity or vascular oxidative stress compared to GT3 alone. The radioprotective effect of either drug alone or both drugs in combination does not require the presence of eNOS.

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Reduction of radiation-induced vascular nitrosative stress by the vitamin E analog γ-tocotrienol: Evidence of a role for tetrahydrobiopterin

Berbee M, Fu Q, Boerma M, Pathak R, Zhou D, Kumar KS, Hauer-Jensen M.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Mar 1;79(3):884-91

Purpose: The vitamin E analog γ-tocotrienol (GT3) is a powerful radioprotector. GT3 reduces postradiation vascular peroxynitrite production, an effect dependent on inhibition of hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase. Hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors mediate their pleiotropic effects via endothelial nitric oxide synthase that requires the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). This study investigated the effects of radiation on BH4 bioavailability and of GT3 on BH4 metabolism.

Methods And Materials: Mice were exposed to 8.5 Gy of total body irradiation (TBI). Lung BH4 and total biopterin concentrations were measured 0, 3.5, 7, 14, and 21 days after TBI by use of differential oxidation followed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of exogenous GT3 and BH4 treatment on postradiation vascular oxidative stress and bone marrow colony-forming units were assessed in vivo. The effect of GT3 on endothelial cell apoptosis and endothelial expression of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) cyclohydrolase 1 (GTPCH), GTPCH feedback regulatory protein (GFRP), GFRP transcription, GFRP protein levels, and GFRP-GTPCH protein binding was determined in vitro.

Results: Compared with baseline levels, lung BH4 concentrations decreased by 24% at 3.5 days after TBI, an effect that was reversed by GT3. At 14 and 21 days after TBI, compensatory increases in BH4 (58% and 80%, respectively) were observed. Relative to vehicle-treated controls, both GT3 and BH4 supplementation reduced postirradiation vascular peroxynitrite production at 3.5 days (by 66% and 33%, respectively), and BH4 resulted in a 68% increase in bone marrow colony-forming units. GT3 ameliorated endothelial cell apoptosis and reduced endothelial GFRP protein levels and GFRP-GTPCH binding by decreasing transcription of the GFRP gene.

Conclusions: BH4 bioavailability is reduced in the early postradiation phase. Exogenous administration of BH4 reduces postirradiation vascular oxidative stress. GT3 potently reduces the expression of GFRP, one of the key regulatory proteins in the BH4 pathway, and may thus exert some of its beneficial effects on postradiation free radical production partly by counteracting the decrease in BH4.

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