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      Punicalagin Protects Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells from Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Oxidative Damage by Activating Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway and Reducing Apoptosis


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          The oxidative damage of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is the early event that underlies the pathogenesis of maculopathies. Numerous studies have shown that punicalagin (PUN), a polyphenol present in pomegranate, can protect several cell types from oxidative stress. Our study aims to establish if PUN protects RPE from UV radiation-induced oxidative damage. We used an experimental model which involves the use of a human-RPE cell line (ARPE-19) exposed to UV-A radiation for 1, 3, and 5 h. ARPE-19 cells were pre-treated with PUN (24 h) followed by UV-A irradiation; controls were treated identically, except for UV-A. Effects of pre-treatment with PUN on cell viability, intracellular reactive oxygen species ROS levels, modulation of Nrf2 and its antioxidant target genes, and finally apoptosis were examined. We found that pre-treatment with PUN: (1) antagonized the decrease in cell viability and reduced high levels of ROS associated with UV-A-induced oxidative stress; (2) activated Nrf2 signaling pathway by promoting Nrf2 nuclear translocation and upregulating its downstream antioxidant target genes (HO-1 and NQO1); (3) induced an anti-apoptotic effect by decreasing Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. These findings provide the first evidence that PUN can prevent UV-A-induced oxidative damage in RPE, offering itself as a possible antioxidant agent capable of contrasting degenerative eye diseases.

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          Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing.

          The antioxidant activity of pomegranate juices was evaluated by four different methods (ABTS, DPPH, DMPD, and FRAP) and compared to those of red wine and a green tea infusion. Commercial pomegranate juices showed an antioxidant activity (18-20 TEAC) three times higher than those of red wine and green tea (6-8 TEAC). The activity was higher in commercial juices extracted from whole pomegranates than in experimental juices obtained from the arils only (12-14 TEAC). HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS analyses of the juices revealed that commercial juices contained the pomegranate tannin punicalagin (1500-1900 mg/L) while only traces of this compound were detected in the experimental juice obtained from arils in the laboratory. This shows that pomegranate industrial processing extracts some of the hydrolyzable tannins present in the fruit rind. This could account for the higher antioxidant activity of commercial juices compared to the experimental ones. In addition, anthocyanins, ellagic acid derivatives, and hydrolyzable tannins were detected and quantified in the pomegranate juices.
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            The Role of the Reactive Oxygen Species and Oxidative Stress in the Pathomechanism of the Age-Related Ocular Diseases and Other Pathologies of the Anterior and Posterior Eye Segments in Adults

            The reactive oxygen species (ROS) form under normal physiological conditions and may have both beneficial and harmful role. We search the literature and current knowledge in the aspect of ROS participation in the pathogenesis of anterior and posterior eye segment diseases in adults. ROS take part in the pathogenesis of keratoconus, Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, and granular corneal dystrophy type 2, stimulating apoptosis of corneal cells. ROS play a role in the pathogenesis of glaucoma stimulating apoptotic and inflammatory pathways on the level of the trabecular meshwork and promoting retinal ganglion cells apoptosis and glial dysfunction in the posterior eye segment. ROS play a role in the pathogenesis of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy and traumatic optic neuropathy. ROS induce apoptosis of human lens epithelial cells. ROS promote apoptosis of vascular and neuronal cells and stimulate inflammation and pathological angiogenesis in the course of diabetic retinopathy. ROS are associated with the pathophysiological parainflammation and autophagy process in the course of the age-related macular degeneration.
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              The retinal pigment epithelium in health and disease.

              Retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) constitute a simple layer of cuboidal cells that are strategically situated behind the photoreceptor (PR) cells. The inconspicuousness of this monolayer contrasts sharply with its importance [1]. The relationship between the RPE and PR cells is crucial to sight; this is evident from basic and clinical studies demonstrating that primary dysfunctioning of the RPE can result in visual cell death and blindness. RPE cells carry out many functions including the conversion and storage of retinoid, the phagocytosis of shed PR outer segment membrane, the absorption of scattered light, ion and fluid transport and RPE-PR apposition. The magnitude of the demands imposed on this single layer of cells in order to execute these tasks, will become apparent to the reader of this review as will the number of clinical disorders that take origin from these cells.

                Author and article information

                Antioxidants (Basel)
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                02 June 2020
                June 2020
                : 9
                : 6
                : 473
                [1 ]National Research Council (CNR), Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche “Giulio Natta” (SCITEC)—c/o Istituto di Biochimica e Biochimica Clinica Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy; elisabetta.clementi@ 123456scitec.cnr.it (M.E.C.); beatrice.sampaolese@ 123456scitec.cnr.it (B.S.); francesca.sciandra@ 123456scitec.cnr.it (F.S.)
                [2 ]Pharmacology Section, Department of Health Care Surveillance and Bioethics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Roma—Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: giuseppe.tringali@ 123456unicatt.it ; Tel.: +39-063-015-4367
                Author information
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 26 April 2020
                : 29 May 2020

                punicalagin,arpe-19 (human-rpe cell line),nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (nrf2),heme oxygenase-1 (ho-1),nadph quinone dehydrogenase-1 (nqo1),apoptosis


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