Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 229–238 | Cite as

Olaquindox-induced apoptosis is suppressed through p38 MAPK and ROS-mediated JNK pathways in HepG2 cells

  • Wen-xia Zhao
  • Shu-sheng Tang
  • Xi Jin
  • Chao-ming Zhang
  • Ting Zhang
  • Cong-cong Wang
  • Yu Sun
  • Xi-long Xiao
Original Research


We investigated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) in olaquindox-induced apoptosis. Exposure of HepG2 cells to olaquindox resulted in the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK). To confirm the role of p38 MAPK and JNK, HepG2 cells were pretreated with MAPKs-specific inhibitors prior to olaquindox treatment. Olaquindox-induced apoptosis was significantly potentiated by the JNK inhibitor (SP600125) or the p38 MAPK inhibitor (SB203580). Furthermore, we observed that olaquindox treatment led to ROS generation and that olaquindox-induced apoptosis and ROS generation were both significantly reduced by the antioxidants, superoxide dismutase and catalase. In addition, the levels of phosphorylation of JNK, but not p38 MAPK, were significantly suppressed after pretreatment of the antioxidants, while inhibition of the activations of JNK or p38 MAPK had no effect on ROS generation. This result suggested that ROS may be the upstream mediator for the activation of JNK. Conclusively, our results suggested that apoptosis in response to olaquindox treatment in HepG2 cells might be suppressed through p38 MAPK and ROS–JNK pathways.


Olaquindox Apoptosis ROS MAPKs HepG2 cells 


HepG2 cells

Human hepatoma G2 cells


Reactive oxygen species


Mitogen-activated protein kinases


Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2


c-Jun N-terminal kinases


Superoxide dismutase


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Propidium iodide


2,7-Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate



This work was supported by the Basic Exclusive Research Fund for Central Universities from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (2011JS009).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen-xia Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shu-sheng Tang
    • 1
  • Xi Jin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chao-ming Zhang
    • 1
  • Ting Zhang
    • 1
  • Cong-cong Wang
    • 1
  • Yu Sun
    • 1
  • Xi-long Xiao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary MedicineChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Center for Drug Safety EvaluationShanghai University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Life SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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