ABSTRACT: Scope: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a severe microvascular complication of diabetes. Previous clinical trials have shown that Compound Danshen Dripping Pill (CDDP) improves DR symptoms. However, the mechanism involved remains unclear. Procedures: Rats fed a high-fat diet and injected with streptozotocin (STZ) were used as an experimental type 2 diabetes rodent model. CDDP was administered to two groups of diabetic rats at 0.2 and 0.4 g/kg/day via gastric gavage for 12 weeks. After the 12 weeks of treatment, retinal function was evaluated by electroretinography (ERG). Histological staining and TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assays were also performed. Retinal genome expression was determined by gene array. Results: We found that CDDP moderated ERG and histological abnormalities in diabetic rats, independent of blood glucose level. A gene array showed that CDDP changed 262 genes significantly in the diabetic retina. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that differentially expressed genes in the CDDP-treated groups were involved mainly in the apoptosis pathway. Moreover, CDDP reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells in the diabetic retinas. CDDP prevented the reduction in Bcl-2 expression and the increase in BCL-2 associated X (Bax) and caspase-3 (Casp3) expression in diabetic rats. Conclusion: Our results suggest that CDDP exerts its neuroprotective functions by inhibiting cell apoptosis in diabetic rats.
Project description:The aetiology of diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness in the developed world, remains controversial. One hypothesis holds that retinal hypoxia, exacerbated by the high O2 consumption of rod photoreceptors in the dark, is a primary cause of DR. Based on this prediction we investigated whether early retinal abnormalities in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats are alleviated by preventing the rods from dark adapting. Diabetic rats and their non-diabetic littermates were housed in a 12:12 hour light-dim light photocycle (30 lux during the day and 3 lux at night). Progression of early retinal abnormalities in diabetic rats was assessed by monitoring the ERG b-wave and oscillatory potentials, Müller cell reactive gliosis, and neuronal cell death, as assayed by TUNEL staining and retinal thickness at 6 and 12 weeks after diabetes induction. Maintaining diabetic animals in a dim-adapting light did not slow the progression of these neuronal and glial changes when compared to diabetic rats maintained in a standard 12:12 hour light-dark photocycle (30 lux during the day and 0 lux at night). Our results indicate that neuronal and glial abnormalities in early stages of diabetes are not exacerbated by rod photoreceptor O2 consumption in the dark.
Project description:Clinical studies have shown that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?) agonist fenofibrate has therapeutic effects on diabetic retinopathy (DR). The purpose of this study was to identify a novel PPAR? agonist and to evaluate its beneficial effects on DR.The transcriptional activity of PPAR? was measured by a luciferase-based promoter assay. TUNEL was used to evaluate apoptosis in retinal precursor cells (R28). Diabetes was induced in rats by injection of streptozotocin. Retinal inflammation was examined using leukostasis assay, and retinal vascular leakage was measured using permeability assay. Retinal function was measured using electroretinogram (ERG) recording, and retinal apoptosis was quantified using the cell death ELISA. The anti-angiogenic effect was evaluated in the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model.A compound, 7-chloro-8-methyl-2-phenylquinoline-4-carboxylic acid (Y-0452), with a chemical structure distinct from existing PPAR? agonists, activated PPAR? transcriptional activity and upregulated PPAR? expression. Y-0452 significantly inhibited human retinal capillary endothelial cell migration and tube formation. The compound also protected R28 cells against apoptosis and inhibited NF-?B signaling in R28 cells exposed to palmitate. In diabetic rats, Y-0452 ameliorated leukostasis and vascular leakage in the retina. In addition, Y-0452 preserved the retinal function and reduced retinal cell death in diabetic rats. Y-0452 also alleviated retinal neovascularization in the OIR model.Y-0452 is a novel PPAR? agonist and has therapeutic potential for DR.
Project description:Lisosan G (LG), a fermented powder obtained from whole grains, is a recognized antioxidant compound that improves the bioactivity and survival of different cell types. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether LG ameliorates both the neural and the vascular damage characterizing early stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The effects of LG were studied in cultured explants of mouse retinas challenged with oxidative stress (OS) or in retinas of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated rats. Apoptosis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, OS markers, blood-retinal barrier (BRB) integrity, and inflammation were assessed, while retinal function was evaluated with electroretinogram (ERG). LG extensively inhibited apoptosis, VEGF expression, and OS both in retinal explants and in STZ rats. In addition, STZ rats treated with LG displayed an almost total BRB integrity, reduced levels of inflammatory markers and a partially restored visual function as evaluated with ERG. In summary, we demonstrated that LG exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that exert powerful protective actions against neural and vascular defects characteristic of DR. Therefore, LG-containing foods or supplements may be considered to implement DR treatments.
Project description:To evaluate the utility of low luminance stimuli to functionally probe inner retinal rod pathways in the context of diabetes mellitus in both rat and human subjects.Inner retinal dysfunction was assessed using oscillatory potential (OP) delays in diabetic rats. Scotopic electroretinograms (ERGs) in response to a series of increasing flash luminances were recorded from streptozotocin (STZ)-treated and control Sprague-Dawley rats after 7, 14, 20, and 29 weeks of hyperglycemia. We then evaluated OP delays in human diabetic subjects with (DR) and without (DM) diabetic retinopathy using the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology in Vision (ISCEV) standard scotopic protocol and two additional dim test flashes.Beginning 7 weeks after STZ, OP implicit times in diabetic rats were progressively delayed in response to dim, but not bright stimuli. In many diabetic subjects the standard ISCEV dim flash failed to illicit measureable OPs. However, OPs became measurable using a brighter, nonstandard dim flash (Test Flash 1, -1.43 log cd s/m2), and exhibited prolonged implicit times in the DM group compared with control subjects (CTRL).Delays in scotopic OP implicit times are an early response to hyperglycemia in diabetic rats. A similar, inner retinal, rod-driven response was detected in diabetic human subjects without diabetic retinopathy, only when a nonstandard ISCEV flash intensity was employed during ERG testing.The addition of a dim stimulus to standard ISCEV flashes with assessment of OP latency during ERG testing may provide a detection method for early retinal dysfunction in diabetic patients.
Project description:Retinal neurodegeneration is an early event in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Somatostatin (SST) is an endogenous neuroprotective peptide that is downregulated in the diabetic eye. The aim of the study was to test the usefulness of topical administration of SST in preventing retinal neurodegeneration. For this purpose, rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus (STZ-DM) were treated with either SST eye drops or vehicle for 15 days. Nondiabetic rats treated with vehicle served as a control group. Functional abnormalities were assessed by electroretinography (ERG), and neurodegeneration was assessed by measuring glial activation and the apoptotic rate. In addition, proapoptotic (FasL, Bid, and activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3) and survival signaling pathways (BclxL) were examined. Intraretinal concentrations of glutamate and its main transporter glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST) were also determined. Treatment with SST eye drops prevented ERG abnormalities, glial activation, apoptosis, and the misbalance between proapoptotic and survival signaling detected in STZ-DM rats. In addition, SST eye drops inhibited glutamate accumulation in the retina and GLAST downregulation induced by diabetes mellitus. We conclude that topical administration of SST has a potent effect in preventing retinal neurodegeneration induced by diabetes mellitus. In addition, our findings open up a new preventive pharmacological strategy targeted to early stages of DR.
Project description:Purpose:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common complication of diabetes involving microvasculature and neuronal alterations in the retina. Previously, we reported that vitamin B12 deficiency could be an independent risk factor for DR in humans. However, the effect of vitamin B12 supplementation in experimental DR is unknown. Thus, in this study, we investigated the impact of dietary supplementation of vitamin B12 on retinal changes in diabetic rats. Methods:Diabetes was induced in 2-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats and maintained for 4 months. One group of diabetic rats were fed normal levels of vitamin B12, and one group double the quantity of vitamin B12 (50 µg/kg diet). Vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in the plasma were analyzed with radioimmunoassay (RIA) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), respectively. At the end of 4 months of experimentation, the eyeballs were collected. Retinal changes were analyzed with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence methods. Results:Dietary supplementation of vitamin B12 had no effect on food intake, bodyweight, fasting blood glucose, and plasma homocysteine levels in the diabetic rats. However, vitamin B12 supplementation prevented loss of rhodopsin, and overexpression of VEGF, and completely prevented overexpression of HIF1?, GFAP, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers (GRP78, ATF6?, XBP1, CHOP, and caspase 12) in the diabetic rat retina. Further, vitamin B12 ameliorated apoptosis in the retina as shown with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and prevented retinal thinning. Conclusions:Vitamin B12 supplementation of diabetic rats appeared to be beneficial by circumventing retinal hypoxia, VEGF overexpression, and ER stress-mediated cell death in the retina. The present study adds another potential therapeutic strategy of vitamin B12 in diabetes.
Project description:Fenofibrate is a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?) agonist and has been shown to have therapeutic effects on diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, the effects of fenofibrate through systemic administration are not as potent as desired due to inefficient drug delivery to the retina. The present study aimed to explore the sustained therapeutic effects of fenofibrate-loaded biodegradable nanoparticles (NP) on both DR and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Fenofibrate was successfully encapsulated into poly(lactic- co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NP (Feno-NP), and Feno-NP were optimized by varying polymer composition to achieve high drug loading and prolonged drug release. The Feno-NP made of PLGA 34 kDa demonstrated a drug content of 6% w/w and a sustained drug release up to 60 days in vitro. Feno-NP (PLGA 34 kDa) was selected for following in vivo studies, and one single intravitreal (IVT) injection of Feno-NP into rat eyes with a 30G fine needle maintained sustained fenofibric acid drug level in the eye for more than 60 days. The efficacy of Feno-NP in DR and neovascular AMD was investigated using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) rats, and very low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout ( Vldlr -/-) mice. Therapeutic effects of Feno-NP were evaluated by measuring electroretinogram (ERG), retinal vascular leakage, leukostasis, CNV size, and retinal levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). In diabetic rats, Feno-NP ameliorated retinal dysfunctions, reduced retinal vascular leakage, inhibited retinal leukostasis, and downregulated the overexpression of VEGF and ICAM-1 at 8 weeks after one IVT injection. In addition, Feno-NP reduced retinal vascular leakage and CNV formation in both CNV rats and Vldlr -/- mice. Moreover, no toxicity of Feno-NP or Blank-NP to retinal structure and function was detected. Feno-NP exhibited good physiochemical characteristics and controlled drug release profile, conferring prolonged beneficial effects on DR and neovascular AMD.
Project description:Mitochondrial μ-calpain and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF)-dependent photoreceptor cell death has been seen in several rat and mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Previously, we demonstrated that the specific peptide inhibitor of mitochondrial μ-calpain, Tat-µCL, protected against retinal degeneration following intravitreal injection or topical eye-drop application in Mertk gene-mutated Royal College of Surgeons rats, one of the animal models of RP. Because of the high rate of rhodopsin mutations in RP patients, the present study was performed to confirm the protective effects of Tat-µCL against retinal degeneration in rhodopsin transgenic S334ter and P23H rats. We examined the effects of intravitreal injection or topical application of the peptide on retinal degeneration in S334ter and P23H rats by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, electroretinogram (ERG), immunohistochemistry for AIF, and histological staining. In S334ter rats, we found that intravitreal injection or topical application of the peptide prevented photoreceptor cell death from postnatal (PN) 15 to 18 days, the time of early-stage retinal degeneration. Topical application of the peptide also delayed attenuation of ERG responses from PN 28 to 56 days. In P23H rats, topical application of the peptide protected against photoreceptor cell death and nuclear translocation of AIF on PN 30, 40, and 50 days, as the primary stages of degeneration. We observed that topical application of the peptide inhibited the thinning of the outer nuclear layer and delayed ERG attenuations from PN 30 to 90 days. Our results demonstrate that the mitochondrial μ-calpain and AIF pathway is involved in early-stage retinal degeneration in rhodopsin transgenic S334ter and P23H rats, and inhibition of this pathway shows curative potential for rhodopsin mutation-caused RP.
Project description:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is diagnosed clinically by directly viewing retinal vascular changes during ophthalmoscopy or through fundus photographs. However, electroretinography (ERG) studies in humans and rodents have revealed that retinal dysfunction is demonstrable prior to the development of visible vascular defects. Specifically, delays in dark-adapted ERG oscillatory potential (OP) implicit times in response to dim-flash stimuli (<-1.8 log cd · s/m2) occur prior to clinically recognized DR. Animal studies suggest that retinal dopamine deficiency underlies these early functional deficits. In this study, we randomized individuals with diabetes, without clinically detectable retinopathy, to treatment with either low- or high-dose Sinemet (levodopa plus carbidopa) for 2 weeks and compared their ERG findings with those of control subjects (no diabetes). We assessed dim-flash-stimulated OP delays using a novel handheld ERG system (RETeval) at baseline and 2 and 4 weeks. RETeval recordings identified significant OP implicit time delays in individuals with diabetes without retinopathy compared with age-matched control subjects (P < 0.001). After 2 weeks of Sinemet treatment, OP implicit times were restored to control values, and these improvements persisted even after a 2-week washout. We conclude that detection of dim-flash OP delays could provide early detection of DR and that Sinemet treatment may reverse retinal dysfunction.
Project description:<label>CONTEXT</label>Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is resistant to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and is associated with cognitive impairment. The modern Chinese medicine, compound Danshen dripping pills (CDDP), is clinically effective in treating epilepsy and improving cognitive impairment.<label>OBJECTIVE</label>This study evaluated the protective effects of CDDP alone and in combination with carbamazepine (CBZ) on kainic acid-induced TLE and cognitive impairment in rats.<label>MATERIALS AND METHODS</label>Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups: control (sham operated), model, CDDP, CBZ and combined. A TLE model was then created via bilateral intrahippocampal injection of 0.35??g kainic acid (KA). Rats received CDDP (85?mg/kg), CBZ (100?mg/kg) or combined (85?mg/kg CDDP +100?mg/kg CBZ) via intragastric administration for 90?d, respectively. Seizure intensity, apoptosis and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were measured. Furthermore, the improvement in cognitive impairment and hippocampal neuronal damage was evaluated.<label>RESULTS</label>CDDP combined with CBZ significantly decreased seizure severity and frequency (p?<?0.05) and ameliorated cognitive impairment (p?<?0.05). The model group showed a significant reduction of neurons and Bcl-2/Bax expression in the hippocampus CA3 area (p?<?0.01), the combined groups significantly reversed these change (p?<?0.01). GDNF expression in the combined groups showed a clear increase over the model group (p?<?0.05).<label>CONCLUSION</label>These findings support the use of CDDP as an adjuvant drug for the treatment of TLE and cognitive deficit. Its mechanism might be related to an anti-apoptosis effect and up-regulation of GDNF.