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Asiatic acid attenuates diabetic retinopathy.


Life Sci. 2021 Jul 15 ;277:119567. Epub 2021 May 6. PMID: 33965378

Abstract Title: 

Asiatic acid attenuates diabetic retinopathy through TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB p65 mediated modulation of microglia polarization.


AIM: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Asiatic acid (AA), a naturally occurring compound of pentacyclic triterpenoid, on the pathological processes of diabetic retinopathy (DR).METHODS: SD rats were induced to develop early DR by intraperitoneal injection of STZ (60 mg/kg). Four weeks after injection, the diabetic rats were orally administrated with 37.5 mg/kg or 75 mg/kg AA every day for four weeks. The integrity of blood-retinal barrier (BRB) was measured by Evans blue staining. The polarization of microglia was determined by real-time PCR, western blot,and ELISA assays. The inner BRB (iBRB) or outer BRB (oBRB) breakdown was induced in human retinal endothelial cells or APRE19 cells through co-culture with high glucose and LPS-stimulated microglia BV2 cells. The damage to the iBRB and oBRB was measured using transendothelial/transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER/TER) and FITC-conjugated dextran cell permeability assays.KEY FINDINGS: Results demonstrated that AA alleviated BRB breakdown, as evidenced by decreased protein expression of occludin, claudin-5, and ZO-1. Furthermore, AA treatment suppressed inflammation and M1 polarization, while it increased M2 polarization in the retina of DR rats. In vitro, the iBRB or oBRB breakdown was alleviated by AA. LPS-induced M1-polarization of BV2 cells under high glucose condition was also repressed through AA administration. Finally, we demonstrated that AA weakened the TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB p65 signaling pathway both in vivo and in vitro.SIGNIFICANCE: AA ameliorated early DR by regulating microglia polarization via the TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB p65 pathway. These data indicate that AA is a potential candidate for DR treatment.

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