Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid on the Cytoprotection Through Nrf2-Mediated Heme Oxygenase-1 in Human Endothelial Cells

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Consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate whether heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) induction contributes to the cytoprotective effects of EPA in endothelial cells threatened with oxidative damage. In this study, we investigated the effect of EPA on the induction of HO-1 by NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In cells treated with low concentrations of EPA (10–25 μM), HO-1 expression increased in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, EPA treatment increased Nrf2 nuclear translocation and antioxidant response element activity, leading to the upregulation of HO-1 expression. Furthermore, treatment with EPA reduced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced cell death. The reduction in cell death was reversed by treatment with zinc protoporphyrin, an inhibitor of HO-1, indicating that HO-1 contributed to the protective effect of EPA. These data suggest that EPA protects against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in endothelial cells by activating Nrf2 and inducting HO-1 expression.

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