Differential roles of 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione-induced glutathione, glutathione S-transferase and aldose reductase in protecting against 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal toxicity in cultured cardiomyocytes

Yunbo Li, Zhuoxiao Cao, Hong Zhu, Michael A. Trush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiac disorders. While conjugation with glutathione (GSH) catalyzed by GSH S-transferase (GST) has been suggested to be a major detoxification mechanism for HNE in target cells, whether chemically upregulated cellular GSH and GST afford protection against HNE toxicity in cardiac cells has not been investigated. In addition, the differential roles of chemically induced GSH and GST as well as other cellular factors in detoxifying HNE in cardiomyocytes are unclear. In this study, we have characterized the induction of GSH and GST by 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T) and the protective effects of the D3T-elevated cellular defenses on HNE-mediated toxicity in rat H9C2 cardiomyocytes. Treatment of cardiomyocytes with D3T resulted in a significant induction of both GSH and GST as well as the mRNA expression of γ-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit and GSTA. Both GSH and GST remained elevated for at least 72 h after removal of D3T from the culture media. Treatment of cells with HNE led to a significant decrease in cell viability and an increased formation of HNE-protein adducts. Pretreatment of cells with D3T dramatically protected against HNE-mediated cytotoxicity and protein-adduct formation. HNE treatment caused a significant decrease in cellular GSH level, which preceded the loss of cell viability. Either depletion of cellular GSH by buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) or inhibition of GST by sulfasalazine markedly sensitized the cells to HNE toxicity. Co-treatment of cardiomyocytes with BSO was found to completely block the D3T-mediated GSH elevation, which however failed to reverse the cytoprotective effects of D3T, suggesting that other cellular factor(s) might be involved in D3T cytotprotection. In this regard, D3T was shown to induce cellular aldose reductase (AR). Surprisingly, inhibition of AR by sorbinil failed to potentiate HNE toxicity in cardiomyocytes. In contrast, sorbinil dramatically augmented HNE cytotoxicity in cells with GSH depletion induced by BSO. Similarly, in BSO-treated cells, D3T cytoprotection was also largely reversed by sorbinil, indicating that AR played a significant role in detoxifying HNE only under the condition of GSH depletion in cardiomyocytes. Taken together, this study demonstrates that D3T can induce GSH, GST, and AR in cardiomyocytes, and that the above cellular factors appear to play differential roles in detoxification of HNE in cardiomyocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-90
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 3H-1,2-Dithiole-3-thione
  • 4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal
  • Aldose reductase
  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione S-transferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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