Nrf2 activators as potential modulators of injury in human kidney cells

Amandla Atilano-Roque, Xia Wen, Lauren M. Aleksunes, Melanie S. Joy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of solid tumors, with clinical use often complicated by kidney toxicity. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived-2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor involved in kidney protectant effects. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Nrf2 activators oltipraz, sulforaphane, and oleanolic acid could protect human kidney cells against cisplatin-induced injury and to compare the protective effects between three Nrf2 activators. Human proximal tubule cells (hPTC) and human embryonic kidney 293 cells (HEK293) were exposed to cisplatin doses in the absence and presence of Nrf2 activators. Pre- and delayed-cisplatin and Nrf2 activator exposures were also assessed. Cell viability was enhanced with Nrf2 activator exposures, with differences detected between pre- and delayed-treatments. Both sulforaphane and oltipraz increased the expression of anti-oxidant genes GCLC and NQO1. These findings suggest potential human kidney protective benefits of Nrf2 activators with planned exposures to cisplatin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology Reports
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Cisplatin
  • Kidney
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Nrf2
  • Oleanolic acid
  • Oltipraz
  • Sulforaphane

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