Abstract Vitamin E is the generic term for a group of tocopherols and tocotrienols (T3). Hyperlipidemia has been known to cause progressive chronic renal dysfunction (CRD). Several investigators have reported that T3 have hypolipidemic and nephroprotective activity against free radical-related diseases. This study was conducted to determine if T3 as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil would protect against lipid-induced CRD in rats. For the induction of atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia, Wistar male rats were fed an atherogenic diet containing 1.25% cholesterol, 0.5% cholic acid and 21% beef tallow (42.6% calories from fat). The atherogenic diet was given for 14 weeks to induce atherosclerosis. The control rats were given normal rat chow and drug control animals treated with TRF (100 mg/kg bw; orally). The first group was taken as disease control in which the animals were left untreated and given normal rat chow for six weeks, while the second group was treated with 100 mg TRF/kg bw. Atherosclerosis and renal functions were evaluated after six weeks of TRF treatment. Feeding an atherogenic diet to rats for 14 weeks resulted in dyslipidemia and impaired renal functions with decreased glomerular filtration rate. The treatment with TRF significantly reduced dyslipidemia and inhibited the development of CRD caused by atherogenic factors. These findings show that low-dose treatment of TRF may provide significant health benefits in the prevention of lipid-induced CRD. The study suggests that TRF is effective in preventing lipid-induced CRD.
Plant bioactives -gingerol (GING), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and asiaticoside (AS) and vitamin E, such as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), have been reported to possess anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the apoptotic properties of these bioactive compounds alone or in combination on glioma cancer cells. TRF, GING, EGCG and AS were tested for cytotoxicity on glioma cell lines 1321N1 (Grade II), SW1783 (Grade III) and LN18 (Grade IV) in culture by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxy-phenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt) (MTS) assay. With the exception of AS, combinations of two compounds were tested, and the interactions of each combination were evaluated by the combination index (CI) using an isobologram. Different grades of glioma cancer cells showed different cytotoxic responses to the compounds, where in 1321N1 and LN18 cells, the combination of EGCG + GING exhibited a synergistic effect with CI = 0.77 and CI = 0.55, respectively. In contrast, all combinations tested (TRF + GING, TRF + EGCG and EGCG + GING) were found to be antagonistic on SW1783 with CI values of 1.29, 1.39 and 1.39, respectively. Combined EGCG + GING induced apoptosis in both 1321N1 and LN18 cells, as evidenced by Annexin-V FITC/PI staining and increased active caspase-3. Our current data suggests that the combination of EGCG + GING synergistically induced apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation 1321N1 and LN18 cells, but not SW1783 cells, which may be due to their different genetic profiles.
Mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in brain aging and has emerged to be an early event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), contributing to neurodegeneration and the loss of physical abilities seen in patients suffering from this disease. We examined mitochondrial dysfunction in a cell culture model of AD (PC12APPsw cells) releasing very low amyloid-β (Aβ40) levels and thus mimicking early AD stages. Our data show that these cells have impaired energy metabolism, low ATP levels, and decreased endogenous mitochondrial respiration. Furthermore, protein levels of PGC1α as well as of Mitofusin 1 were decreased. PC12APPsw cells also showed an increased mitochondrial content, probably due to an attempt to compensate the impaired mitochondrial function. Recent data showed that stabilized rice bran extract (RBE) protects from mitochondrial dysfunction in vivo . To assess the effect of a RBE on mitochondrial function, we treated PC12APPsw cells for 24 h with RBE. Key components of RBE are oryzanols, tocopherols, and tocotrienols, all substances that have been found to exert beneficial effects on mitochondrial function. RBE incubation elevated ATP production and respiratory rates as well as PGC1α protein levels in PC12APPsw cells, thus improving the impaired mitochondrial function assessed in our cell culture AD model. Therefore, RBE represents to be a promising nutraceutical for the prevention of AD.
Tocotrienols (T3s) are members of the vitamin E family, have antioxidant properties, and are promising candidates for neuroprotection in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, whether their antioxidant capacities are required for their cytoprotective activity remains unclear. In this regard, the antioxidant-independent cytoprotective activity of T3s has received considerable attention. Here, we investigated the signaling pathways that are induced during T3-dependent cytoprotection of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, as these cells are used to model certain elements of PD. T3s were cytoprotective against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) and other PD-related toxicities. γT3 and δT3 treatments led to marked activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Furthermore, we identified estrogen receptor (ER) β as an upstream mediator of PI3K/Akt signaling following γT3/δT3 stimulation. Highly purified γT3/δT3 bound to ERβ directly in vitro, and knockdown of ERβ in SH-SY5Y cells abrogated both γT3/δT3-dependent cytoprotection and Akt phosphorylation. Since membrane-bound ERβ was important for the signal-related cytoprotective effects of γT3/δT3, we investigated receptor-mediated caveola formation as a candidate for the early events of signal transduction. Knockdown of caveolin-1 and/or caveolin-2 prevented the cytoprotective effects of γT3/δT3, but did not affect Akt phosphorylation. This finding suggests that T3s and, in particular, γT3/δT3, exhibit not only antioxidant effects but also a receptor signal-mediated protective action following ERβ/PI3K/Akt signaling. Furthermore, receptor-mediated caveola formation is an important event during the early steps following T3 treatment.