The present study aimed to investigate the effects of astaxanthin (ASX) on ochratoxin A (OTA)-induced renal oxidative stress and its mechanism of action. Serum kidney markers, histomorphology, ultrastructural observation, and oxidative stress indicators were assessed. Meanwhile, quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR and western blotting detection of NRF2 (encoding nuclear factor, erythroid 2 like) and members of the NRF2/KEAP1 signaling pathway (KEAP1 (encoding Kelch-like ECH-associated protein), NQO1 (encoding NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase), HO-1 (encoding heme oxygenase 1), γ-GCS (gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase), and GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase 1)) were performed. Compared with the control group, the OTA-treated group showed significantly increased levels of serum UA (uric acid) and BUN (blood urea nitrogen), tubular epithelial cells were swollen and degenerated, and the levels of antioxidant enzymes decreased significantly, and the expression of NRF2 (cytoplasm), NQO1, HO-1, γ-GCS, and GSH-Px decreased significantly. More importantly, after ASX pretreatment, compared with the OTA group, serum markers were decreased, epithelial cells appeared normal; the expression of antioxidant enzymes increased significantly, NQO1, HO-1, γ-GCS and GSH-Px levels increased significantly, and ASX promoted the transfer of NRF2 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. These results highlight the protective ability of ASX in renal injury caused by OTA exposure, and provide theoretical support for ASX’s role in other mycotoxin-induced damage.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited