The present study aimed to analyze novel mechanisms underlying Nrf2-mediated anti-apoptosis in periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) in the periodontitis oxidative microenvironment. We created an oxidative stress model with H2
-treated PDLSCs. We used real-time PCR, Western blotting, TUNEL staining, fluorogenic assay and transfer genetics to confirm the degree of oxidative stress and apoptosis as well as the function of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). We demonstrated that with upregulated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), the effect of oxidative stress was obvious under H2
treatment. Oxidative molecules were altered after the H2
exposure, whereby the signaling of Nrf2 was activated with an increase in its downstream effectors, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase (γ-GCS). Additionally, the apoptosis levels gradually increased with oxidative stress by the upregulation of caspase-9, caspase-3, Bax and c-Fos levels in addition to the downregulation of Bcl-2. However, there was no alterations in levels of caspase-8. The enhanced antioxidant effect could not mitigate the occurrence of apoptosis. Furthermore, Nrf2 overexpression effectively improved the anti-oxidative levels and increased cell proliferation. At the same time, overexpression effectively restrained TUNEL staining and decreased the molecular levels of caspase-9, caspase-3, Bax and c-Fos, but not that of caspase-8. In contrast, silencing the expression of Nrf2 levels had the opposite effect. Collectively, Nrf2 alleviates PDLSCs via its effects on regulating oxidative stress and anti-intrinsic apoptosis by the activation of oxidative enzymes.
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