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Betaine protects against heat exposure–induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in bovine mammary epithelial cells via regulation of ROS production

Abstract

Heat stress is one of the wide varieties of factors which cause oxidative stress in vivo; elevated temperature can lead to oxidative stress of dairy cows that affects milk production. The aim of this study was to determine the capacity of the betaine to act as an antioxidant against oxidative stress induced by heat exposure and apoptosis in mammary epithelial cells (mammary alveolar cells, MAC-T). The MAC-T were divided into four treatment groups: control (37 °C), heat stress (HS, 42 °C), betaine (37 °C), and HS + betaine. MAC-T under heat stress (HS) showed increased ROS accumulation, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) concentration, and catalase (CAT) activity. During heat stress, betaine decreased the mRNA expression level of HSP70 and HSP27 in MAC-T. Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and caspase-3, the markers of apoptosis, were also elevated in MAC-T under heat stress. The markers of oxidative stress Nrf-2/HO-1 genes were also elevated in MAC-T under heat stress. Pretreatment of betaine reversed the heat-induced depletion in total antioxidant status, ROS accumulation, and SOD and CAT contents in MAC-T. Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and Nrf-2/HO-1 expression of heat-exposed MAC-T were also reduced with betaine supplementation. In conclusion, betaine alleviated oxidative stress and apoptosis of MAC-T by inhibiting ROS accumulation.

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Funding

This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0501600).

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Correspondence to Lian Li.

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Li, C., Wang, Y., Li, L. et al. Betaine protects against heat exposure–induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in bovine mammary epithelial cells via regulation of ROS production. Cell Stress and Chaperones 24, 453–460 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12192-019-00982-4

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Keywords

  • Heat stress
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Betaine
  • Mammary epithelial cells
  • Apoptosis