An excess dietary vitamin E concentration does not influence Nrf2 signaling in the liver of rats fed either soybean oil or salmon oil
Background: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to stimulate the activation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2), the key regulator of the antioxidant and cytoprotective defense system in the body. The hypothesis underlying this study was that high dietary concentrations of vitamin E suppress Nrf2 activation, and thus could ... weaken the body´s antioxidative and cytoprotective capacity. As the effect of vitamin E on Nrf2 pathway might be influenced by concentrations of fatty acids susceptible to oxidation in the diet, we used also diets containing either soybean oil as a reference oil or salmon oil as a source of oil rich in n-3 polyunsatuated fatty acids.Methods: Seventy-two rats were divided into 6 groups of rats which received diets with either 25, 250 or 2500 mg vitamin E/kg, with either soybean oil or salmon oil as dietary fat sources according to a bi-factorial experimental design. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy was used to determine ROS production in the liver. qPCR analysis and western blot were performed to examine the expression of Nrf2 target genes in the liver of rats. Results: Rats fed the salmon oil diet with 25 mg vitamin E/kg showed a higher production of ROS in the liver than the 5 other groups of rats which did not differ in ROS production. Relative mRNA concentrations of NFE2L2 (encoding Nrf2), KEAP1 and various Nrf2 target genes, protein concentrations of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) and activities of the antioxidant enzymes GPX, superoxide dismutase and catalase were not influenced by the dietary vitamin E concentration. The dietary fat had also less effect on Nrf2 target genes and no effect on protein concentrations of GPX, HO-1, NQO1 and activities of antioxidant enzymes. Dietary vitamin E concentration and type of fat moreover had less effect on mRNA concentrations of genes and concentrations of proteins involved in the unfolded protein response, a pathway which is closely linked with activation of Nrf2.Conclusion: We conclude that excess dietary concentrations of vitamin E do not suppress Nrf2 signaling, and thus do not weaken the endogenous antioxidant and cytoprotective capacity in the liver of rats.