Resveratrol Inhibits Neuronal Apoptosis and Elevated Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II Activity in Diabetic Mouse Retina
OBJECTIVE This study investigated the effects of resveratrol, a natural polyphenol with neuroprotective properties, on retinal neuronal cell death mediated by diabetes-induced activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Diabetes was induced in C57BL/6 mice by five consecutive intraperitoneal injections of 55 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ). Control mice received buffer. All mice were killed 2 months after the injections, and the extent of neuronal cell death, CaMKII, and phospho-CaMKII protein expression levels and CaMKII kinase activity were examined in the retinas. To assess the role of CaMKII in the death of retinal neurons, a small-interfering RNA (siRNA) or specific inhibitor of CaMKII was injected into the right vitreous humor, and vehicle only was injected into the left vitreous humor, 2 days before death. Resveratrol (20 mg/kg) was administered by oral gavage daily for 4 weeks, beginning 1 month after the fifth injection of either STZ or buffer.
RESULTS The death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), CaMKII, phospho-CaMKII protein levels, and CaMKII activity were all greatly increased in the retinas of diabetic mice compared with controls, 2 months after induction of diabetes. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive signals co-localized with CaMKII- and phospho-CaMKII immunoreactive RGCs. However, in addition to CaMKII knockdown and inhibition by siRNA or a specific inhibitor, respectively, resveratrol provided complete protection from diabetes-induced retinal cell death.
CONCLUSIONS In the present study, resveratrol prevented diabetes-induced RGC death via CaMKII downregulation, implying that resveratrol may have potential therapeutic applications for prevention of diabetes-induced visual dysfunction.
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- Received September 25, 2009.
- Accepted April 17, 2010.
- © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.
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