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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(3), 960-974; doi:10.3390/md11030960
Article

Astaxanthin Attenuates the Apoptosis of Retinal Ganglion Cells in db/db Mice by Inhibition of Oxidative Stress

1,†
, 2,†
, 3
 and 1,*
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Xinhua Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200092, China 2 Department of Endocrinology, Xinhua Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200092, China 3 College of Life Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150010, Heilongjiang, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2012 / Revised: 17 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 March 2013 / Published: 21 March 2013
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Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic eye disease caused by changes in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). It is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease, which affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The genetically diabetic db/db mouse, as a model of type-2 diabetes, shows diabetic retinopathy induced by apoptosis of RGCs. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties that exists naturally in various plants, algae and seafood. Here, astaxanthin was shown to reduce the apoptosis of RGCs and improve the levels of oxidative stress markers, including superoxide anion, malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of lipid peroxidation), 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, indicator of oxidative DNA damage) and MnSOD (manganese superoxide dismutase) activity in the retinal tissue of db/db mouse. In addition, astaxanthin attenuated hydrogen peroxide(H2O2)-induced apoptosis in the transformed rat retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5. Therefore, astaxanthin may be developed as an antioxidant drug to treat diabetic retinopathy.
Keywords: retinal ganglion cells (RGCs); oxidative stress; apoptosis; astaxanthin retinal ganglion cells (RGCs); oxidative stress; apoptosis; astaxanthin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dong, L.-Y.; Jin, J.; Lu, G.; Kang, X.-L. Astaxanthin Attenuates the Apoptosis of Retinal Ganglion Cells in db/db Mice by Inhibition of Oxidative Stress. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 960-974.

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