Planta Med 2023; 89(15): 1468-1482
DOI: 10.1055/a-2148-7427
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers

Acetyl-11-Keto-Beta-Boswellic Acid Activates the Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway in Schwann Cells to Reduce Oxidative Stress and Promote Sciatic Nerve Injury Repair

Chong Zhou
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Yao Wang
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Qiyuan Zhang
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Guanghu Zhou
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Xianglin Ma
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Xiaowen Jiang
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Wenhui Yu
1   Department of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
2   Key Laboratory of Heilongjiang Education Department for Common Animal Disease Prevention and Treatment, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
3   Institute of Chinese Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
› Author Affiliations
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [No. 31 972 725 (to W. H. Y.)].


Boswellia is a traditional medicine for bruises and injuries. Its main active ingredient, acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, has antioxidant and antiapoptotic effects. In this experiment, we used Sprague-Dawley rats to make a sciatic nerve injury model to detect the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase 1 signaling pathway and apoptosis, combined with clinical indicators, for testing whether acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid can reduce oxidative stress and promote sciatic nerve repair. Our results showed that acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid administration promoted myelin regeneration and functional recovery in the rat sciatic nerve, reduced lipid peroxidation levels, upregulated the expression of various antioxidant enzymes and enhanced enzyme activity, decreased the expression levels of apoptosis-related proteins, and promoted nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 protein. In vitro studies revealed that acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid reduced H2O2-induced reactive oxygen species production, restored mitochondrial membrane potential, upregulated the expression of various antioxidant enzymes, and downregulated apoptosis-related indicators in Schwann cells, and these therapeutic effects of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid were reversed after ML385 treatment in Schwann cells. In summary, acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid alleviates oxidative stress and apoptosis caused by sciatic nerve injury in rats by activating the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase 1 signaling pathway, promotes the recovery of sciatic nerve function in rats, and is a promising therapeutic agent to promote sciatic nerve repair by alleviating excessive oxidative stress.

Publication History

Received: 28 March 2023

Accepted after revision: 04 August 2023

Accepted Manuscript online:
04 August 2023

Article published online:
23 August 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany

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