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Suk-Yee Li, Frederic K. C. Fung, Zhong Jie Fu, David Wong, Henry H. L. Chan, Amy C. Y. Lo; Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lutein in Retinal Ischemic/Hypoxic Injury: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(10):5976-5984. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10007.
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Lutein protects retinal neurons by its anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic properties in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury while its anti-inflammatory effects remain unknown. As Müller cells play a critical role in retinal inflammation, the effect of lutein on Müller cells was investigated in a murine model of I/R injury and a culture model of hypoxic damage.
Unilateral retinal I/R was induced by a blockade of internal carotid artery using the intraluminal method in mice. Ischemia was maintained for 2 hours followed by 22 hours of reperfusion, during which either lutein (0.2 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered. Flash electroretinogram (flash ERG) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) activation were assessed. Lutein's effect on Müller cells was further evaluated in immortalized rat Müller cells (rMC-1) challenged with cobalt chloride–induced hypoxia. Levels of IL-1β, cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), TNFα, and nuclear factor–NF-kappa-B (NF-κB) were examined by Western blot analysis.
Lutein treatment minimized deterioration of b-wave/a-wave ratio and oscillatory potentials as well as inhibited up-regulation of GFAP in retinal I/R injury. In cultured Müller cells, lutein treatment increased cell viability and reduced level of nuclear NF-κB, IL-1β, and Cox-2, but not TNFα after hypoxic injury.
Reduced gliosis in I/R retina was observed with lutein treatment, which may contribute to preserved retinal function. Less production of pro-inflammatory factors from Müller cells suggested an anti-inflammatory role of lutein in retinal ischemic/hypoxic injury. Together with our previous studies, our results suggest that lutein protected the retina from ischemic/hypoxic damage by its anti-oxidative, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
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