Mitochondrial pathway is involved in the protective effects of alpha-ketoglutarate on hydrogen peroxide induced damage to intestinal cells.
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Alpha-ketoglutarate, a key intermediate in the Krebs cycle, has been reported to benefit intestinal health. We tested whether alpha-ketoglutarate can protect intestinal cells against hydrogen peroxide induced damage and aimed to reveal the underlying mechanism. Intestinal porcine epithelial cell line J2 were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium-High glucose with or without alpha-ketoglutarate and hydrogen peroxide. Cell viability, proliferation, mitochondrial respiration, mitochondrial membrane potential, antioxidant function, apoptosis and mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathways were determined. Our experiments demonstrated that, first, exposure to 100M hydrogen peroxide decreased cell viability, DNA synthesis, mitochondrial respiration and antioxidant function, and increased apoptosis. Second, 2mM alpha-ketoglutarate addition attenuated hydrogen peroxide-induced cell cycle arrest, and improved cell viability, DNA synthesis, mitochondrial respiration and antioxidant function. Third, alpha-ketoglutarate enhanced tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, mitochondrial respiration, and decrease the intracellular content of reactive oxygen species. Finally, alpha-ketoglutarate stabilized the mitochondrial membrane potential, increased the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, decreased the release of cytochrome c and activation of caspase-3, thereby prevented cell apoptosis. Altogether, we proposed that alpha-ketoglutarate protects intestinal cells against hydrogen peroxide-induced damage partly via mitochondria dependent pathway.