Coenzyme Q10 Protects Astrocytes from Ultraviolet B-Induced Damage Through Inhibition of ERK 1/2 Pathway Overexpression

  • Qi Zhao
  • Yan-Mei Ma
  • Li Jing
  • Tian-Xiang Zheng
  • Hai-Feng Jiang
  • P. Andy LiEmail author
  • Jian-Zhong ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


Overexpression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase ½ (ERK ½) signaling pathway leads to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which induces oxidative stress. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) scavenges ROS and protects cells against oxidative stress. The present study was designed to examine whether the protection of Coenzyme Q10 against oxidative damage in astrocytes is through regulating ERK 1/2 pathway. Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation was chosen as a tool to induce oxidative stress. Murine astrocytes were treated with 10 μg/ml and 25 μg/ml of CoQ10 for 24 h prior to UVB and maintained during UVB and 24 h post-UVB. Cell viability was evaluated by counting viable cells and MTT conversion assay. ROS production was measured using fluorescent probes. Levels of p-ERK 1/2, ERK 1/2, p-PKA, PKA were detected using immunocytochemistry and/or Western blotting. The results showed that UVB irradiation decreased the number of viable cells. This damaging effect was associated with accumulation of ROS and elevations of p-ERK 1/2 and p-PKA. Treatment with CoQ10 at 25 μg/ml significantly increased the number of viable cells and prevented the UVB-induced increases of ROS, p-ERK 1/2, and p-PKA. It is concluded that suppression of the PKA-ERK 1/2 signaling pathway may be one of the important mechanisms by which CoQ10 protects astrocytes from UVB-induced oxidative damage.


Astrocyte Extracellular signal-regulated kinase Coenzyme Q10 Reactive oxygen species Ultraviolet 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31780280, 81560208) and West China first-class Disciplines Basic Medical Sciences at Ningxia Medical University (No. NXYLXK2017B07).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Zhao
    • 1
  • Yan-Mei Ma
    • 1
  • Li Jing
    • 1
  • Tian-Xiang Zheng
    • 1
  • Hai-Feng Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Andy Li
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jian-Zhong Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Pathology, Ningxia Medical University; Ningxia Key Laboratory of Vascular Injury and RepairYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PathologyGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technological Enterprise (BRITE)North Carolina Central UniversityDurhamUSA

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