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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6785852, 9 pages
Research Article

Aldose Reductase Inhibitor Protects against Hyperglycemic Stress by Activating Nrf2-Dependent Antioxidant Proteins

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Kota V. Ramana

Received 31 March 2017; Revised 15 May 2017; Accepted 28 May 2017; Published 27 June 2017

Academic Editor: Hao Wu

Copyright © 2017 Kirtikar Shukla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have shown earlier that pretreatment of cultured cells with aldose reductase (AR) inhibitors prevents hyperglycemia-induced mitogenic and proinflammatory responses. However, the effects of AR inhibitors on Nrf2-mediated anti-inflammatory responses have not been elucidated yet. We have investigated how AR inhibitor fidarestat protects high glucose- (HG-) induced cell viability changes by increasing the expression of Nrf2 and its dependent phase II antioxidant enzymes. Fidarestat pretreatment prevents HG (25 mM)-induced Thp1 monocyte viability. Further, treatment of Thp1 monocytes with fidarestat caused a time-dependent increase in the expression as well as the DNA-binding activity of Nrf2. In addition, fidarestat augmented the HG-induced Nrf2 expression and activity and also upregulated the expression of Nrf2-dependent proteins such as hemeoxygenase-1 (HO1) and NQO1 in Thp1 cells. Similarly, treatment with AR inhibitor also induced the expression of Nrf2 and HO1 in STZ-induced diabetic mice heart and kidney tissues. Further, AR inhibition increased the HG-induced expression of antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and catalase and activation of AMPK-α1 in Thp1 cells. Our results thus suggest that pretreatment with AR inhibitor prepares the monocytes against hyperglycemic stress by overexpressing the Nrf2-dependent antioxidative proteins.