Tolfenamic acid inhibits ROS-generating oxidase Nox1-regulated p53 activity in intrastriatal injection of malonic acid rats

J Physiol Sci. 2022 Jul 18;72(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s12576-022-00842-4.


It has been reported that wild-type p53-induced gene 1 (Wig1), which is downstream of p53, regulates the expression of mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt) in Huntington's disease (HD) patients and transgenic mouse brains. Intrastriatal injection of malonic acid in rats is often used as a model to study the pathological changes of Huntington's disease, and this model has the advantages of a fast preparation and low cost. Therefore, in this study, we used intrastriatal injections of 6 μM malonic acid in rats to evaluate the effect of tolfenamic acid on motor and cognitive deficits and the effect of 6 mg/kg and 32 mg/kg tolfenamic acid on p53 and its downstream targets, such as Wig1. The results showed that 32 mg/kg tolfenamic acid attenuated motor and spatial memory dysfunction, prevented Nox1-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and downregulated the activity of p53 by increasing the phosphorylation level at the Ser378 site and decreasing the acetylation level at the Lys382 site. Tolfenamic acid reduced mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2), phosphatase and tensin homologue (Pten), P53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis (Puma) and Bcl2-associated X (Bax) at the mRNA level to inhibit apoptosis and downregulated sestrin 2 (Sesn2) and hypoxia inducible factor 1, alpha subunit (Hif-1α) mRNA levels to exert antioxidative stress effects. In addition, 32 mg/kg tolfenamic acid played a role in neuroprotection by decreasing the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL)-positive cell numbers. However, there was no difference in the Wig mRNA level among all groups, and tolfenamic acid could not decrease the protein level of Wig1. In conclusion, tolfenamic acid inhibited the ROS-generating oxidase Nox1-regulated p53 activity and attenuated motor and spatial memory deficits in malonic acid-injected rats.

Keywords: Malonic acid; Nox1; ROS; Tolfenamic acid; p53.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Huntington Disease* / genetics
  • Huntington Disease* / pathology
  • Malonates
  • Mice
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / pharmacology


  • Malonates
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • malonic acid
  • Oxidoreductases