Calcitriol prevents peripheral RSC96 Schwann neural cells from high glucose & methylglyoxal-induced injury through restoration of CBS/H2S expression

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A meta-analysis has suggested that vitamin D deficiency is involved in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and the levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are also decreased in type 2 diabetes. The injection of vitamin D induces cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) expression and H2S generation. However, it remains unclear whether the supplementation of vitamin D prevents DPN through improvement of CBS/H2S expression. In the present study, RSC96 cells, a rat Schwann cell line, were exposed to high glucose and methylglyoxal (HG&MG) to simulate diabetic peripheral nerve injury in vivo. Before the exposure to HG&MG, the cells were preconditioned with calcitriol (CCT), an active form of vitamin D, and then CCT-mediated neuroprotection was investigated in respect of cellular viability, superoxide anion (O2-) generation, inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS)/NO expression, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), as well as CBS expression and activity. It was found that both high glucose and MGO decreased cell viability and co-treatment with the two induced a more serious injury in RSC96 cells. Therefore, the exposure to HG&MG was used in the present study. The exposure to HG&MG markedly induced iNOS expression, NO and O2- generation, as well as MMP loss. In addition, the exposure to HG&MG depressed CBS expression and activity in RSC96 cells. However, the preconditioning with CCT significantly antagonized HG&MG-induced cell injury including the decreased viability, iNOS overexpression, NO and O2- accumulation, as well as MMP loss. CCT also partially restored the decreased CBS expression and activity triggered by HG&MG, while the inhibition of CBS with hydroxylamine attenuated CCT-mediated neuroprotection. Moreover, the exogenous donation of H2S produced similar cellular protective effects to CCT. The data indicate that the supplementation of vitamin D prevents HG&MG-induced peripheral nerve injury involving the restoration of endogenous H2S system, which may provide a basal support for the treatment of DPN with vitamin D clinically.HighlightsThe supplementation of vitamin D prevents a simulative DPN in peripheral RSC96 Schwann neural cells.The vitamin D-mediated neuroprotection is associated with restoration of endogenous H2S system.The study may provide a novel basal support for the treatment of DPN with vitamin D clinically.

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