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Toxicol In Vitro. 2011 Feb;25(1):167-76. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2010.10.014. Epub 2010 Oct 31.

Diarylheptanoid 7-(3,4 dihydroxyphenyl)-5-hydroxy-1-phenyl-(1E)-1-heptene from Curcuma comosa Roxb. protects retinal pigment epithelial cells against oxidative stress-induced cell death.

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Toxicology Graduate Program, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Chronic exposure to oxidative stress causes damage to retinal pigment epithelial cells which may lead to the development of age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of vision loss in humans. Anti-oxidants provide a natural defense against retinal cell damage. The present study was designed to evaluate the potential anti-oxidant activity and protective effect of two diarylheptanoids isolated from a medicinal herb Curcuma comosa; 7-(3,4 dihydroxyphenyl)-5-hydroxy-1-phenyl-(1E)-1-heptene (compound A), and 1,7-diphenyl-4(E),6(E)-heptadien-3-ol (compound B) against oxidative stress (H(2)O(2))-induced human retinal pigment epithelial (APRE-19) cell death. The 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay indicated that the anti-oxidant activity (IC(50)) of compound A was similar to that of vitamin C. Pre-treatment of ARPE-19 cells with 20 μM compound A for 4h afforded greater protection against the insult from 500 μM H(2)O(2), compared to a similar protection period for compound B. Compound A lowered H(2)O(2)-induced lipid peroxidation, malondialdehyde formation and intracellular reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, compound A ameliorated the H(2)O(2)-induced decrease in anti-oxidant enzyme activities and subsequent apoptotic cell death in ARPE-19 cells in a dose and time-dependent manner. These results suggest that compound A protects ARPE-19 cells against oxidative stress, in part, by enhancing several anti-oxidant defense mechanisms. Therefore, compound A may have therapeutic potential for diseases associated with oxidative stress, particularly degenerative retinal diseases.

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