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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 866-878; doi:10.3390/ijms13010866
Article

Icariin Ameliorates Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Retinopathy in Vitro and in Vivo

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2,†
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1,*  and 2,*
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing ChaoYang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100043, China 2 Andrology Center, Peking University First Hospital, Peking University, Beijing 100034, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
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Abstract

This study investigated the effect of Icariin (ICA) supplementation on diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model system. Fifty Sprague Dawley rats were randomly distributed into a control group and a streptozotocin-induced diabetes group. Diabetic rats were randomly divided into two groups; one group received ICA 5 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks by oral gavage; the other group received saline gavage as a placebo. Retinal morphological changes, endothelial markers (RECA), collagen IV (Col-IV), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and neuropathic changes (Thy-1 and Brn3a expression) of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated. The effects of ICA at various concentrations (0, 101, 102, 103 nmol/mL) on neurite growth were investigated also in retinal ganglion cells (RGC) cultured from both diabetic and normal animals. Numerous pathological changes (deceased expression of RECA, VEGF, Thy-1, and Brn3a as well as decreased Collagen IV and Müller cell content) were noted in the retinal vessels of diabetic rats; these changes were attenuated in diabetic animals that received ICA. ICA enhanced neurite growth in RGC from both normal rats and diabetic rats in a dose dependent fashion. ICA may be useful in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Further investigations are indicated.
Keywords: icariin; streptozotocin; diabetes; retina; diabetic retinopathy icariin; streptozotocin; diabetes; retina; diabetic retinopathy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Xin, H.; Zhou, F.; Liu, T.; Li, G.-Y.; Liu, J.; Gao, Z.-Z.; Bai, G.-Y.; Lu, H.; Xin, Z.-C. Icariin Ameliorates Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Retinopathy in Vitro and in Vivo. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 866-878.

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