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Genistein protects against acute pancreatitis via activation of an apoptotic pathway mediated through endoplasmic reticulum stress in rats

Xia, Shijin, Wang, Jian, Kalionis, Bill, Zhang, Wei, Zhao, Yun
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.509 no.2 pp. 421-428
acinar cells, apoptosis, caspases, drugs, endoplasmic reticulum, endoplasmic reticulum stress, gene expression regulation, genes, genistein, histology, mitogen-activated protein kinase, models, pancreas, pancreatitis, rats, therapeutics, unfolded protein response
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a severe and frequently lethal disorder, but the precise mechanisms are not well understood and there is lack of effective drugs. Therefore, our study examined the in vivo intervention effects of genistein and elucidated its mechanism in acute experimental pancreatitis models. We used cerulein or taurocholate to induce acute pancreatitis (AP) in Sprague-Dawley rats with prior genistein treatment. Histological examination of the pancreas was performed and the expression of unfolded protein response (UPR) components and apoptotic mediators like caspase 12 and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) were measured. The amount of apoptosis in pancreatic acinar cells was also determined. Our studies found that the severity of cerulein- or taurocholate-induced AP was rescued by prior genistein treatment. Genistein stimulated the activation of multiple endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related regulators like GRP78, PERK, eIF2α, and upregulated the expression of the apoptotic genes, caspase 12 and CHOP. Moreover, TUNEL assays showed that genistein treatment promoted acinar cell apoptosis. Taken together, we speculated that ER stress-associated apoptotic pathways in AP are induced by genistein, which showed cytoprotective capacity in the exocrine pancreas. These data suggest novel therapeutic strategies that employ genistein in the prevention of AP.