Irisin pretreatment ameliorates intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice through activation of the Nrf2 pathway.


Department of Anesthesiology, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a serious clinical event that may induce intestinal mucosal injury, whose major underlying mechanisms include reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, release of inflammatory mediators and induction of apoptosis. Irisin is considered an agent with potent protection against many pathological injures. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of irisin pretreatment on intestinal injury and explore its underlying mechanisms in a mouse model of intestinal I/R injury as well as a cell model (IEC-6 cell) of hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). The results showed that irisin pretreatment ameliorated I/R and H/R-induced injury in vivo and in vitro. In addition, irisin reduced the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin(IL)-1β and interleukin(IL)-6 in the intestine. Compared with the I/R group, irisin pretreatment effectively reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels, but increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in the intestine, and significantly reduced oxidative stress. Furthermore, irisin pretreatment downregulated Bax and cleaved Caspase-3 at the protein level, and increased Bcl-2 protein amounts, significantly reducing apoptosis in the intestine of I/R mice. Moreover, both in vivo and in vitro results showed that irisin pretreatment significantly upregulated nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) protein. Meanwhile, Nrf2 siRNA treatment partially abrogated the protective effects of irisin pretreatment on H/R induced cellular damage, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in IEC-6 cells. These findings suggest that irisin pretreatment improves I/R-induced intestinal inflammatory response, reduces oxidative stress and inhibits apoptosis, which could be, at least partially, associated with Nrf2 pathway activation.


Apoptosis,Inflammation,Intestinal injury,Irisin,Nrf2,Oxidative stress,