Iranian Researchers Prove One Natural Antioxidant Positively Affects Retina

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 10:34

A group of Iranian researchers from Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology in cooperation with Technische Universität Dresden in Germany has successfully proved that Crocetin prevents RPE Cells from oxidative stress.

According to an ISCA report, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause for visual impairment in aging populations with limited established therapeutic interventions available.

Based on the research, which its results published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, oxidative stress plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of AMD, damaging the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which is essential for the function and maintenance of the light-sensing photoreceptors.

The study aimed to evaluate the effects of crocetin, one of the main components of Saffron, on an in vitro RPE model of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) induced oxidative stress using ARPE19 cells. The effects of crocetin were assessed using lactate de-hydrogenase (LDH) and ATP assays, as well as immunocytochemistry for cell morphology, junctional integrity, and nuclear morphology.

The mechanism of crocetin action was determined via assessment of energy production pathways, including mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis in real-time as well as investigation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and distribution.

As results show, crocetin pre-treatment protects ARPE19 cells from TBHP-induced LDH release, intracellular ATP depletion, nuclear condensation, and disturbance of junctional integrity and cytoskeleton. The protective effect of crocetin is mediated via the preservation of energy production pathways and activation of ERK1/2 in the first minutes of TBHP exposure to potentiate survival pathways.

The combined data suggest that a natural antioxidant, such as crocetin, represents a promising candidate to prevent oxidative stress in RPE cells and might halt or delay disease progression in AMD.

Padideh Karimi, Ali Gheisari, Sylvia J Gasparini, Hossein Baharvand, Faezeh Shekari, Leila Satarian and Marius Ader cooperated in this research.


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