MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tocotrienol-rich fraction was used to treat different stages of cellular aging of primary human diploid fibroblasts viz. young (passage 6), pre-senescent (passage 15) and senescent (passage 30). Several selected targets involved in the downstream of PI3K/AKT and RAF/MEK/ERK pathways were compared in total RNA and protein.
RESULTS: Different transcriptional profiles were observed in young, pre-senescent and senescent HDFs, in which cellular aging increased AKT, FOXO3, CDKN1A and RSK1 mRNA expression level, but decreased ELK1, FOS and SIRT1 mRNA expression level. With tocotrienol-rich fraction treatment, gene expression of AKT, FOXO3, ERK and RSK1 mRNA was decreased in senescent cells, but not in young cells. The three down-regulated mRNA in cellular aging, ELK1, FOS and SIRT1, were increased with tocotrienol-rich fraction treatment. Expression of FOXO3 and P21Cip1 proteins showed up-regulation in senescent cells but tocotrienol-rich fraction only decreased P21Cip1 protein expression in senescent cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Tocotrienol-rich fraction exerts gene modulating properties that might be responsible in promoting cell cycle progression during cellular aging.
METHODS: In the Nrf2 induction study, mice were divided into control, 2000 mg/kg TRF and diethyl maleate treated groups. After acute treatment, mice were sacrificed at specific time points. Liver nuclear extracts were prepared and Nrf2 nuclear translocation was detected through Western blotting. To determine the effect of increasing doses of TRF on the extent of liver nuclear Nrf2 translocation and its implication on the expression levels of several Nrf2-regulated genes, mice were divided into 5 groups (control, 200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg TRF, and butylated hydroxyanisole-treated groups). After 14 days, mice were sacrificed and liver RNA was extracted for qPCR assay.
RESULTS: 2000 mg/kg TRF administration initiated Nrf2 nuclear translocation within 30 min, reached a maximum level of around 1 h and dropped to half-maximal levels by 24 h. Incremental doses of TRF resulted in dose-dependent increases in liver Nrf2 nuclear levels, along with concomitant dosedependent increases in the expressions of Nrf2-regulated genes.
CONCLUSION: TRF activated the liver Nrf2 pathway resulting in increased expression of Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective genes.