May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), Resveratrol, and Curcumin on Proliferation and Apoptosis of Human Pigment Epithelial Cells
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • N. Eter
    University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • A. Alex
    University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • M. Spitznas
    University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • C. Kurts
    University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
    Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology,
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  N. Eter, None; A. Alex, None; M. Spitznas, None; C. Kurts, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  AKdE (Aktion Kampf der Erblindung)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 2440. doi:
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      N. Eter, A. Alex, M. Spitznas, C. Kurts; Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), Resveratrol, and Curcumin on Proliferation and Apoptosis of Human Pigment Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2440.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To investigate a possible inhibitory effect of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, a polyphenol contained in green tea), Resveratrol (a polyphenol found in red wine), and Curcumin (the active component of Turmeric) on the proliferation of human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and to elucidate possible toxic side effects.

Methods: : ARPE19 cells were cultured in the presence of various concentrations of EGCG, Resveratrol, or Curcumin, and compared to controls. The number of viable cells was measured after 24, 48, and 72 hours of incubation by flow cytometry. RPE cell proliferation was assessed by CFSE dilution assay, drug toxicity (dead cells) by Hoechst 33258 co-staining, and apoptosis by co-staining for Caspase 3/7. Death-receptor-dependent apoptosis was examined by measuring Caspase 8 activity.

Results: : All 3 drugs tested inhibited RPE cell proliferation at all time points as compared to the control samples. Resveratrol was most efficient at decreasing the number of viable RPE cells, and Curcumin least so. Resveratrol achieved this effect by completely abrogating cell proliferation. Furthermore, in its presence the percentage of dead cells was highest, and this was mostly due to necrosis, and to 30% to Caspase 3/7 and Caspase 8-dependent apoptosis. Curcumin showed a similar induction of cell death, which was Caspase 3/7-dependent but Caspase 8-independent, and hardly any inhibitory effect on cell proliferation. EGCG inhibited cell proliferation with intermediate efficiency, and was associated with least cell death induction.

Conclusions: : Resveratrol seemed to be the most potent drug in reducing cell proliferation, but also resulted in the highest percentage of apoptosis and necrosis. The inhibitory effect of Curcumin was the smallest, and was mostly caused by inducing RPE cell death by different pathways than Resveratrol. The inhibitory effect of EGCG has not yet been described, and was associated with few toxic side effects. Further studies of these drugs in an animal model are under way.

Keywords: retinal pigment epithelium • proliferation • apoptosis/cell death 

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