Therapeutic Potential of Naringin for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Involvement of Autophagy Against Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis in Nucleus Pulposus Cells.
Am J Chin Med. 2018 Oct 4:1-20. Epub 2018 Oct 4. PMID: 30284462
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a major cause of lower back pain, but few efficacious medicines have been developed for IDD. Increased nucleus pulposus cells apoptosis is a dominant pathogenesis of IDD and is considered a therapeutic target. Previously, our group proved that autophagy may protect nucleus pulposus cells against apoptosis. As one of the major bioflavonoids of citrus, naringin activates autophagy. Therefore, we hypothesize that naringin may have therapeutic potential for IDD by activating autophagy in nucleus pulposus cells. In this study, we evaluated the effects of naringin on TBHP-induced oxidative stress in nucleus pulposus cells in vitro as well as in puncture-induced rat IDD model in vivo. Our results showed that naringin could reduce the incidence of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in nucleus pulposus cells and promoted the expression of autophagy markers LC3-II/I and beclin-1. Meanwhile, inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA may partially reverse the anti-apoptotic effect of naringin, indicating that autophagy was involved in the protective effect of naringin in nucleus pulposus cells. Further study showed that autophagy regulation of naringin may be related to AMPK signaling. Also, we found that naringin treatment can regulate the expression of collagen II, aggrecan and Mmp13 to sustain the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, our in vivo study showed that naringin can ameliorate IDD in puncture-induced rat model. In conclusion, our study suggests that naringin can protect nucleus pulposus cells against apoptosis and ameliorate IDD in vivo, the mechanism may relate to its autophagy regulation.