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Ashish Sharma, Aneesh Neekhra, Ana L. Gramajo, Jayaprakash Patil, Marilyn Chwa, Baruch D. Kuppermann, M. Cristina Kenney; Effects of Benzo(e)Pyrene, a Toxic Component of Cigarette Smoke, on Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells In Vitro. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(11):5111-5117. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2060.
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purpose. To better understand the cellular and molecular basis for the epidemiologic association between cigarette smoke and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the authors examined the effects of Benzo(e)Pyrene (B(e)P), a toxic element in cigarette smoke, on human retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19).
methods. ARPE-19 cells were cultured in Dulbecco modified Eagle medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum. Cells were treated for 24 hours with 1000 μM, 400 μM, 200 μM, and 100 μM B(e)P. Cell viability was determined by a trypan blue dye-exclusion assay. Activities of caspase-3/7, caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-12 were measured by a fluorescence image scanner, and DNA laddering was evaluated by electrophoresis on 3% agarose gel.
results. The mean percentage of cell viabilities of ARPE-19 cells was decreased in a dose-dependent manner after exposure to B(e)P at the higher concentrations of 1000 μM (20.0 ± 0.4; P < 0.001), 400 μM (35.6 ± 6.4; P < 0.001), and 200 μM (58.7 ± 2.3; P < 0.001) but not at 100 μM (95.9 ± 0.7; P > 0.05) compared with the equivalent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-treated control cultures. There were significant increases in caspase-3/7, -8, -9, and -12 activities compared with the DMSO-treated controls (P < 0.001). DNA laddering revealed bands at 200-bp intervals.
conclusions. These results show that B(e)P is a toxicant to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro. It causes cell death and induces apoptosis by the involvement of multiple caspase pathways.
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