Puerarin decreases apoptosis of retinal pigment epithelial cells in diabetic rats by reducing peroxynitrite level and iNOS expression.
Sheng Li Xue Bao. 2012 Apr 25 ;64(2):199-206. PMID: 22513471
The purpose of this study was to investigate the protective effect of puerarin on retina pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of diabetic rats against apoptosis. One hundred and eight Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: control group, streptozotocin (STZ) group and puerarin group. STZ and puerarin groups received 3 d of STZ injection (45 mg/kg per day, i.p.). Additionally, puerarin groups were treated with puerarin (140 mg/kg, i.p.) from the 4th day to the end of experiment. The rats from different groups were sacrificed on 20, 40 and 60 d after STZ injection for harvesting RPE cells. Western blot analysis, DNA laddering, RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used for determining the expression of nitrotyrosine (NT, the foot print of peroxynitrite), cell apoptosis, iNOS mRNA and Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) signal transduction in RPE cells, respectively. The results showed that control group maintained low apoptosis level and little NT, iNOS mRNA, Fas/FasL protein expressions, as well as normal blood glucose and body weight during 60 d of the experiment. Compared with control group, STZ group showed obvious apoptosis and higher NT, iNOS mRNA, Fas/FasL protein expressions from 20 d after STZ injection. Puerarin relieved apoptosis of RPE cells and decreased NT, iNOS mRNA, Fas/FasL protein expressions in puerarin group 20 or 40 d after STZ injection, compared with STZ group. These results suggest puerarin can decrease RPE cells apoptosis in diabetic rats by reducing peroxynitrite level and iNOS expression, thus being a potential therapeutic agent in controlling of diabetic retinopathy.