We previously showed that barley sprout extract (BSE) prevents chronic alcohol intake-induced liver injury in mice. BSE notably inhibited glutathione (GSH) depletion and increased inflammatory responses, revealing its mechanism of preventing alcohol-induced liver injury. In the present study we investigated whether the antioxidant effect of BSE involves enhancing nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) activity and GSH synthesis to inhibit alcohol-induced oxidative liver injury. Mice fed alcohol for four weeks exhibited significantly increased oxidative stress, evidenced by increased malondialdehyde (MDA) level and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) immunostaining in the liver, whereas treatment with BSE (100 mg/kg) prevented these effects. Similarly, exposure to BSE (0.1–1 mg/mL) significantly reduced oxidative cell death induced by t-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP, 300 M) and stabilized the mitochondrial membrane potential (D). BSE dose-dependently increased the activity of Nrf2, a potential transcriptional regulator of antioxidant genes, in HepG2 cells. Therefore, increased expression of its target genes, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), and glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) was observed. Since GCLC is involved in the rate-limiting step of GSH synthesis, BSE increased the GSH level and decreased both cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) expression and taurine level. Because cysteine is a substrate for both taurine and GSH synthesis, a decrease in CDO expression would further contribute to increased cysteine availability for GSH synthesis. In conclusion, BSE protected the liver cells from oxidative stress by activating Nrf2 and increasing GSH synthesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics