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Biol Pharm Bull. 2012;35(9):1447-53.

A novel polysaccharide compound derived from algae extracts protects retinal pigment epithelial cells from high glucose-induced oxidative damage in vitro.

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Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sojo University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). The oxidative damage inflicted on retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by high glucose closely approximates the molecular basis for the loss of vision associated with this disease. We investigate a novel algae-derived polysaccharide compound for its role in protecting ARPE-19 cells from high glucose-induced oxidative damage. ARPE-19 cells were cultured for 4 d with normal concentration of D-glucose, and exposed to either normal or high concentrations of D-glucose in the presence or absence of the polysaccharide compound at variety of concentrations for another 48 h. Taurine was used as a positive control. Activity of super oxide dismutase (SOD) and concentration of glutathione (GSH) were measured as well as cytotoxicity of high glucose and the polysaccharide compound. To analyse cellular damage by high glucose, activation of Annexin V and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were examined. Our results showed that a significant cellular damage on ARPE-19 cells after 48 h treatment with high glucose, accompanied by a decrease in SOD activity and GSH concentration; high glucose also caused ARPE-19 cell apoptosis and activation of p38MAPK and ERK. As the non-toxic polysaccharide compound protected ARPE-19 cells from high glucose-induced cellular damage, the compound recovered SOD activity and concentration of GSH in the cells. The compound also abrogated the cell apoptosis and activation of p38MAPK and ERK. Therefore, the polysaccharide compound derived from algae extracts could be unique candidate for a new class of anti-DM and anti-oxidative damage.

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