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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 May;50(5):2319-27. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2642. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Baicalein reduces inflammatory process in a rodent model of diabetic retinopathy.

Author information

1
Peking University Eye Center, Peking University Third Hospital, Peking University, Beijing, PR China.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study was designed to elucidate the role of inflammatory process in diabetic retinopathy and to investigate the effect of baicalein treatment on diabetic rat.

METHODS:

Retinal microglial cells were identified with CD11b antibody, and retinal Müller cells were identified with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The gene expression of interleukin (IL)-18, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and IL-1beta was examined by quantitative real-time PCR. The expression of GFAP and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was examined by quantitative real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analysis. Vascular permeability was measured in vivo by bovine serum albumin conjugated with FITC. Baicalein was given by oral administration (150 mg/kg/d) with an animal feeding needle beginning 5 days after streptozotocin (STZ) injection.

RESULTS:

By 24 weeks after onset of diabetes, microglial cells were activated and proliferated, and Müller cells upregulated their GFAP and VEGF expression. Pro-inflammatory factors, including IL-18, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta, were significantly upregulated. Obvious vascular leakage and abnormality were demonstrated, and ganglion cell loss was significant. Baicalein treatment ameliorated diabetes-induced microglial activation and pro-inflammatory expression, reduced the GFAP and VEGF expression from Müller cells, and significantly reduced vascular abnormality and ganglion cell loss within the retina.

CONCLUSIONS:

Inflammatory process, characterized by microglial activation and Müller cells dysfunction, was implicated in STZ-induced diabetic retinopathy. Baicalein treatment ameliorated inflammatory process, and therefore inhibited vascular abnormality and neuron loss in diabetic retinas.

PMID:
19011009
DOI:
10.1167/iovs.08-2642
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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