Disruption of the mucosal barrier following intestinal ischemia reperfusion (I/R) is life threatening in clinical practice. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress significantly contribute to the early phase of I/R injury and amplify the inflammatory response. MitoQ is a mitochondrially targeted antioxidant that exerts protective effects following I/R injury. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether and how MitoQ protects intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) from I/R injury. In both in vivo and in vitro studies, we found that MitoQ pretreatment downregulated I/R-induced oxidative stress and stabilized the intestinal barrier, as evidenced by MitoQ-treated I/R mice exhibiting attenuated intestinal hyperpermeability, inflammatory response, epithelial apoptosis, and tight junction damage compared to controls. Mechanistically, I/R elevated mitochondrial 8-hydroxyguanine content, reduced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and mRNA transcription levels, and induced mitochondrial disruption in IECs. However, MitoQ pretreatment dramatically inhibited these deleterious effects. mtDNA depletion alone was sufficient to induce apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction of IECs. Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), a key activator of mitochondrial transcription, was significantly reduced during I/R injury, a phenomenon that was prevented by MitoQ treatment. Furthermore, we observed that thee protective properties of MitoQ were affected by upregulation of cellular antioxidant genes, including HO-1, NQO-1, and γ-GCLC. Transfection with Nrf2 siRNA in IECs exposed to hypoxia/reperfusion conditions partially blocked the effects of MitoQ on mtDNA damage and mitochondrial oxidative stress. In conclusion, our data suggest that MitoQ exerts protective effect on I/R-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction.
Cell Death & Disease – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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