Biomol Ther (Seoul)  
Ginsenoside Rb1 Inhibits Doxorubicin-Triggered H9C2 Cell Apoptosis via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor
Yaxin Zhang, Yuguang Wang*, Zengchun Ma, Qiande Liang, Xianglin Tang, Hongling Tan, Chengrong Xiao and Yue Gao*
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing 100850, China
E-mail: gaoyue@bmi.ac.cn (Gao Y), wangyg@bmi.ac.cn (Wang YG)
Tel: +86-10-6693-1312 (Gao Y), +86-10-6693-2201 (Wang YG)
Fax: +86-10-6821-4653 (Gao Y), +86-10-6821-4653 (Wang YG)
Received: March 22, 2016; Revised: June 17, 2016; Accepted: June 28, 2016; Published online: November 8, 2016.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a highly effective chemotherapeutic agent; however, the dose-dependent cardiotoxicity associated with DOX significantly limits its clinical application. In the present study, we investigated whether Rb1 could prevent DOX-induced apoptosis in H9C2 cells via aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). H9C2 cells were treated with various concentrations (- μM) of Rb1. AhR, CYP1A protein and mRNA expression were quantified with Western blot and real-time PCR analyses. We also evaluated the expression levels of caspase-3 to assess the anti-apoptotic effects of Rb1. Our results showed that Rb1 attenuated DOX-induced cardiomyocytes injury and apoptosis and reduced caspase-3 and caspase-8, but not caspase-9 activity in DOX-treated H9C2 cells. Meanwhile, pre-treatment with Rb1 decreased the expression of caspase-3 and PARP in the protein levels, with no effects on cytochrome c, Bax, and Bcl-2 in DOX-stimulated cells. Rb1 markedly decreased the CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 expression induced by DOX. Furthermore, transfection with AhR siRNA or pre-treatment with AhR antagonist CH-223191 significantly inhibited the ability of Rb1 to decrease the induction of CYP1A, as well as caspase-3 protein levels following stimulation with DOX. In conclusion, these findings indicate that AhR plays an important role in the protection of Ginsenoside Rb1 against DOX-triggered apoptosis of H9C2 cells.
Keywords: Ginsenoside Rb1, Doxorubicin, apoptosis, AhR, CYP1A


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