Lycium barbarum polysaccharides inhibit ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial injury via the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway

Jin Jun Liu, Gong Xiao Zhao, Lei Lei He, Zheng Wang, Abdoulaye Issotina Zibrila, Bai Chun Niu, Hao Yu Gong, Jing Ning Xu, Lynn Soong, Chun Fang Li, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative stress is considered to be one of main pathophysiological mechanisms in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), the main ingredient of Lycium barbarum, have potential antioxidant activity. We aimed to investigate the effects of LBP on myocardial I/R injury and explore the underlying mechanisms. Myocardial I/R group was treated with or without LBP to evaluate oxidative stress markers and the role of Nrf2 signal pathway. Our results showed that I/R increased infarct size and the activities of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) when compared with control group. Meanwhile, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were enhanced and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and catalase (CAT) were decreased. These changes were associated with a significant increase in myocardial apoptosis, ultimately leading to cardiac dysfunction. LBP reduced infarct size (38.4 ± 2 % versus 19.4 ± 1.8 %, p < 0.05), CK and LDH activities and myocardial apoptotic index. Meanwhile, LBP suppressed the production of ROS and restored redox status. Additionally, LBP increased protein level of nuclear Nrf2 in vivo (2.1 ± 0.3 versus 3.8 ± 0.4, p < 0.05) and in vitro (1.9 ± 0.2 versus 3.8 ± 0.1, p < 0.05) and subsequently upregulated heme oxygenase 1 and NADPH dehydrogenase quinone 1 compared to I/R group. Interestingly, Nrf2 siRNA abolished the protective effects of LBP. LBP suppressed oxidative stress damage and attenuated cardiac dysfunction induced by I/R via activation of the Nrf2 antioxidant signal pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology Reports
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Ischemia reperfusion
  • Lycium barbarum polysaccharides
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Lycium barbarum polysaccharides inhibit ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial injury via the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this