Abstract Title:

Curcumin protects retinal cells from light-and oxidant stress-induced cell death.

Abstract Source:

Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Mar 1;46(5):672-9. Epub 2008 Dec 24. PMID: 19121385

Abstract Author(s):

Md Nawajes A Mandal, Jagan M R Patlolla, Lixin Zheng, Martin-Paul Agbaga, Julie-Thu A Tran, Lea Wicker, Anne Kasus-Jacobi, Michael H Elliott, Chinthalapally V Rao, Robert E Anderson

Article Affiliation:

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, 73104, USA. mmandal@ouhsc.edu


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease that has potential involvement of inflammatory and oxidative stress-related pathways in its pathogenesis. In search of effective therapeutic agents, we tested curcumin, a naturally occurring compound with known anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, in a rat model of light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD) and in retina-derived cell lines. We hypothesized that any compound effective against LIRD, which involves significant oxidative stress and inflammation, would be a candidate for further characterization for its potential application in AMD. We observed significant retinal neuroprotection in rats fed diets supplemented with curcumin (0.2% in diet) for 2 weeks. The mechanism of retinal protection from LIRD by curcumin involves inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and down-regulation of cellular inflammatory genes. When tested on retina-derived cell lines (661W and ARPE-19), pretreatment of curcumin protected these cells from H(2)O(2)-induced cell death by up-regulating cellular protective enzymes, such as HO-1, thioredoxin. Since, curcumin with its pleiotropic activities can modulate the expression and activation of many cellular regulatory proteins such as NF-kappaB, AKT, NRF2, and growth factors, which in turn inhibit cellular inflammatory responses and protect cells; we speculate that curcumin would be an effective nutraceutical compound for preventive and augmentative therapy of AMD.

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