The epithelial cytokine response, associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS), is important in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-induced inflammation. H. pylori induces the production of ROS, which may be involved in the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (Jak/Stat), and oxidant-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), and thus, expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) in gastric epithelial cells. α-lipoic acid, a naturally occurring thiol compound, is a potential antioxidant. It shows beneficial effects in treatment of oxidant-associated diseases including diabetes. The present study is purposed to investigate whether α-lipoic acid inhibits expression of inflammatory cytokine IL-8 by suppressing activation of MAPK, Jak/Stat, and NF-κB in H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells. Gastric epithelial AGS cells were pretreated with or without α-lipoic acid for 2 h and infected with H. pylori in a Korean isolate (HP99) at a ratio of 300:1. IL-8 mRNA expression was analyzed by RT-PCR analysis. IL-8 levels in the medium were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. NF-κB-DNA binding activity was determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Phospho-specific and total forms of MAPK and Jak/Stat were assessed by Western blot analysis. ROS levels were determined using dichlorofluorescein fluorescence. As a result, H. pylori induced increases in ROS levels, mRNA, and protein levels of IL-8, as well as the activation of MAPK [extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2), p38], Jak/Stat (Jak1/2, Stat3), and NF-κB in AGS cells, which was inhibited by α-lipoic acid. In conclusion, α-lipoic acid may be beneficial for prevention and/or treatment of H. pylori infection-associated gastric inflammation.
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