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Retinoprotective Effects Of Crocin And Crocetin via Anti-Angiogenic Mechanism in High Glucose-Induced Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 5 ]

Author(s):

Samaneh Sepahi, Zahra-Soheila Soheili , Jalil Tavakkol-Afshari , Soghra Mehri, Seyedeh M. Hosseini, Seyed A. Mohajeri* and Elham Khodaverdi *   Pages 883 - 893 ( 11 )

Abstract:


Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common side effects of diabetes. We aimed to investigate the effects of crocin and crocetin (as a deglycosylated form of crocin in blood stream) in gene expression or protein levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor1 (VEGFR-1), matrix metalloproteinases2 (MMP-2), matrix metalloproteinases9 (MMP-9) and thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2) in high glucose cell culture media.

Methods: The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells were exposed to high glucose (HG, 30 mM glucose concentration) and normal glucose (NG, 24.5 mM mannitol + 5.5 mM glucose) for six days. RPE cells were treated in four treatment groups (crocin, crocetin, Bevacizumab, and crocin + Bevacizumab). Gene expressions were measured using quantitative real-time PCR, and protein levels were evaluated by western blot.

Results: Findings showed that VEGF gene expression and protein level significantly decreased in all treatment groups. In addition, reduction in VEGFR1 gene expression was significantly higher in Bevacizumab and crocin + Bevacizumab groups than other groups. Only crocin and crocetin could reduce the gene levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9. In addition, TSP-2 protein levels increased when HG cells were exposed to crocin or crocin + Bevacizumab groups.

Conclusion: Our data showed that crocin and crocetin have anti-VEGF function similar to Bevacizumab, act as an anti-angiogenic agent. Also, crocin and crocetin could decrease MMP-2 and MMP-9 gene levels being inflammatory and angiogenesis factors. As a result, crocin and crocetin have protective effects against angiogenesis and inflammation in DR.

Keywords:

Diabetic retinopathy, crocin, crocetin, VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-9, Anti-angiogenesis.

Affiliation:

Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, 14965/161, Tehran, Immunology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Eye Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad



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