Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
causes gastritis and gastric cancers. Oxidative stress is involved in the pathological mechanism of H. pylori
-induced gastritis and gastric cancer induction. Therefore, reducing oxidative stress may be beneficial for preventing the development of H. pylori
-associated gastric diseases. Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a crucial regulator for the expression of antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which protects cells from oxidative injury. α-Lipoic acid (α-LA), a naturally occurring dithiol, shows antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in various cells. In the present study, we examined the mechanism by which α-LA activates the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway, suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukine-8 (IL-8), and reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H. pylori
-infected AGS cells. α-LA increased the level of phosphorylated and nuclear-translocated Nrf2 by decreasing the amount of Nrf2 sequestered in the cytoplasm by complex formation with Kelch-like ECH1-associated protein 1 (KEAP 1). By using exogenous inhibitors targeting Nrf2 and HO-1, we showed that up-regulation of activated Nrf2 and of HO-1 results in the α-LA-induced suppression of interleukin 8 (IL-8) and ROS. Consumption of α-LA-rich foods may prevent the development of H. pylori
-associated gastric diseases by decreasing ROS-mediated IL-8 expression in gastric epithelial cells.
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