Antioxidant effect of sildenafil: Potential hepatoprotection via differential expression of mitochondrial proteins in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.


Laboratory of Protein Chemistry, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : High plasma cholesterol levels are able to trigger several pathophysiological events, including inflammation, cell damage and especially oxidative stress. Previously, studies have shown that sildenafil exhibited antioxidant effects in several experimental models. Here we evaluate the role of sildenafil in liver redox equilibrium of apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice.
METHODS : ApoE-KO mice were divided in two groups: one group received the PDE5 inhibitor sildenafil (40 mg/kg/day) for 3 weeks (apoE-KO + Sil) and was compared to a second group of apoE-KO mice, which received only the vehicle (water) for 3 weeks (apoE-KO). Control group (C57 mice) received only a standard chow diet. At the age of 18 weeks, mice livers were collected for the measurement of intracellular ROS levels and apoptotic cells by flow cytometry analysis, and mitochondria isolation for proteomic analysis.
RESULTS : Compared to the control group, liver cells from apoE-KO presented some typical redox imbalance features: higher levels of intracellular ROS (global oxidative stress ˜60%, superoxide anion ˜82%, and peroxynitrite/hydroxyl radical ˜53%), higher amounts of apoptotic cells (up to ˜19%) and higher mitochondrial intensity of catalase (+339%) and transferrin spots (+914%). After treatment with sildenafil, apoE-KO presented ROS levels and the number of apoptotic cells similar to those observed in C57. In addition, when compared to apoE-KO, apoE-KO + Sil showed lower spots volumes of catalase (-23%) and transferrin (-71%) and up-regulation of urate oxidase (+94%).
CONCLUSIONS : The treatment with sildenafil is able to induce beneficial changes in liver mitochondrial protein dynamics, which restores the redox homeostasis contributing to a potential hepatoprotection.


Hyperlipidemia,Mitochondria,Oxidative stress,Proteomics,Sildenafil,

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