Pachymic acid promotes induction of autophagy related to IGF-1 signaling pathway in WI-38 cells
Abstract Background The insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling pathway has spotlighted as a mechanism to elucidate aging associated with autophagy in recent years. Therefore, we have tried to screen an effective compound capable of inducing autophagy to delay aging process. Purpose The aim of this study is to investigate whether pachymic acid, a main compound in Poria cocos, induces autophagy in the aged cells. Methods The aging of young cells was induced by treatment with IGF-1 at 50 ng/ml three times every two days. The effect of pachymic acid on cell viability was evaluated in human lung fibroblasts, WI-38 cells, using MTT assay. The induction of autophagy was detected using autophagy detection kit. The expression of proteins related to autophagy and IGF-1 signaling pathway was examined by western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assay. Results In this study, pachymic acid showed cytotoxic effect in a dose dependent manner and remarkably induced autophagy at the same time. Moreover, pachymic acid increased the expression of proteins related to autophagy such as LC3-II and Beclin1 and decreased the levels of mTor phosphorylation and p70S6K in the aged cells. In particular, pachymic acid increased the expression of p-PI3K, p-FoxO and Catalase. In addition, pachymic acid remarkably increased the expression of IGFBP-3. Conclusion Above results suggest that pachymic acid could induce autophagy related to IGF-1 signaling pathway in the aged cells.