Objectives To investigate the role of Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activation on rat vascular smooth muscle cells ress.
Methods Rat aortic VSMCs were cultured and divided into control group, oxidative damage group, Nrf2 activation group and Nrf2 siRNA group. Protein level of Nrf2 was determined by Western blot, cell viability was measured by MTT and cell apoptosis was determined by Hoechst 33342 and Annexin V/FITC.
Results VSMCs were transiently transfected with Nrf2 siRNA. Nrf2 siRNA significantly inhibited Nrf2 protein expression compared to the control. Compared to oxidative damage group, cell viability significantly increased and cell apoptosis decreased in Nrf2 activation group. However, Compared to oxidative damage group, cell viability significantly decreased and cell apoptosis increased in Nrf2 siRNA group.
Conclusions Nrf2 activation can oxidative stress-induced damage of VSMCs, which may be useful for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.