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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 3016382, 11 pages
Research Article

Cucurbitacin I Protects H9c2 Cardiomyoblasts against H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress via Protection of Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Biosafety Research Institute and Korea Zoonosis Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Shang-Jin Kim;

Received 13 November 2017; Revised 8 January 2018; Accepted 31 January 2018; Published 25 February 2018

Academic Editor: Kota V. Ramana

Copyright © 2018 Dong Kwon Yang and Shang-Jin Kim. 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.


Cucurbitacin I, a triterpenoid natural compound, exhibits various pharmacological properties, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties. However, antioxidant effects of cucurbitacin I in cardiac cells are currently unknown. In the present study, we assessed the preventive effects of cucurbitacin I against the oxidative stress in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts. To evaluate antioxidant effects of cucurbitacin I in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, H2O2-treated H9c2 cells were pretreated with various concentrations of the cucurbitacin I. Cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and apoptosis were determined to elucidate the protective effects of cucurbitacin I against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in H9c2 cells. In addition, we assessed the mitochondrial functions and protein expression levels of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Cucurbitacin I prevented the cells against cell death and ROS production and elevated the antioxidant protein levels upon oxidative stress. Furthermore, cucurbitacin I preserved the mitochondrial functions and inhibited the apoptotic responses in H2O2-treated cells. Cucurbitacin I also suppressed the activation of MAPK proteins (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38). Collectively, cucurbitacin I potentially protects the H9c2 cardiomyoblasts against oxidative stress and further suggests that it can be utilized as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of oxidative stress in cardiac injury.