Metallothionein Is Downstream of Nrf2 and Partially Mediates Sulforaphane Prevention of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy
We have reported that sulforaphane (SFN) prevented diabetic cardiomyopathy in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) animal models via the upregulation of nuclear transcription factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) and metallothionein (MT). In this study, we tested whether SFN protects the heart from T2DM directly through Nrf2, MT, or both. Using Nrf2-knockout (KO), MT-KO, and wild-type (WT) mice, T2DM was induced by feeding a high-fat diet for 3 months followed by a small dose of streptozotocin. Age-matched controls were given a normal diet. Both T2DM and control mice were then treated with or without SFN for 4 months by continually feeding a high-fat or normal diet. SFN prevented diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction as well as diabetes-associated cardiac oxidative damage, inflammation, fibrosis, and hypertrophy, with increases in Nrf2 and MT expressions in the WT mice. Both Nrf2-KO and MT-KO diabetic mice exhibited greater cardiac damage than WT diabetic mice. SFN did not provide cardiac protection in Nrf2-KO mice, but partially or completely protected the heart from diabetes in MT-KO mice. SFN did not induce MT expression in Nrf2-KO mice, but stimulated Nrf2 function in MT-KO mice. These results suggest that Nrf2 plays the indispensable role for SFN cardiac protection from T2DM with significant induction of MT and other antioxidants. MT expression induced by SFN is Nrf2 dependent, but is not indispensable for SFN-induced cardiac protection from T2DM.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db15-1274/-/DC1.
- Received September 9, 2015.
- Accepted September 4, 2016.
- © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.