Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (Jan 2019)

Mechanistic approach of the inhibitory effect of chrysin on inflammatory and apoptotic events implicated in radiation-induced premature ovarian failure: Emphasis on TGF-β/MAPKs signaling pathway

  • Eman M. Mantawy,
  • Riham S. Said,
  • Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 109
pp. 293 – 303


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Radiotherapy is one of the most relevant treatment modalities for various types of malignancies. However, it causes premature ovarian failure (POF) and subsequent infertility in women of reproductive age; hence urging the development of effective radioprotective agents. Chrysin, a natural flavone, possesses several pharmacological activities owing to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of chrysin in limiting γ-radiation-mediated POF and to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Immature female Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a single dose of γ-radiation (3.2 Gy) and/or treated with chrysin (50 mg/kg) once daily for two weeks before and three days post-irradiation. Chrysin prevented the radiation-induced ovarian dysfunction by restoring estradiol levels, preserving the normal ovarian histoarchitecture and combating the follicular loss. Eelectron microscopic analysis showed that the disruption of ultrastructure components due to radiation exposure was hampered by chrysin administration. Mechanistically, chrsyin was able to reduce the levels of the inflammatory markers NF-κB, TNF-α, iNOS and COX-2 in radiation-induced ovarian damage. Chrysin also exhibited potent anti-apoptotic effects against radiation-induced cell death by downregulating the expression of cytochrome c and caspase 3. Radiation obviously induced upregulation of TGF-β protein with subsequent phospholyration and hence activation of downstream mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs); p38 and JNK. Notably, administration of chrysin successfully counteracted these effects. These findings revealed that chrysin may be beneficial in ameliorating radiation-induced POF, predominantly via downregulating TGF-β/MAPK signaling pathways leading subsequently to hindering inflammatory and apoptotic signal transduction pathways implicated in POF.