Diabetic retinopathy (DR), one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus, is characterized by degeneration of retinal neurons and neoangiogenesis. Until today, the pharmacological approaches for DR are limited and focused on counteracting the end-stage of this neurodegenerative disease, therefore efforts should be carried out to discover novel pharmacological targets useful to prevent DR development. Hyperglycemia is a major risk factor for endothelial dysfunction and vascular complication, which subsequently may trigger neurodegeneration. We previously demonstrated that, in the rat retina, hyperglycemia activates a new molecular cascade implicating, up-stream, protein kinase C beta II (PKC beta II), which in turn leads to a higher expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), via the mRNA-binding Hu-antigen R (HuR) protein. VEGF is a pivotal mediator of neovascularization and a well-known vasopermeability factor. Blocking the increase of VEGF via modulation of this cascade can thus represent a new pharmacological option to prevent DR progression. To this aim, proper in vitro models are crucial for drug discovery, as they allow to better identify promising effective molecules. Considering that endothelial cells are key elements in DR and that hyperglycemia triggers the PKC beta II/HuR/VEGF pathway, we set up two distinct in vitro models applying two different stimuli. Namely, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were exposed to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, which mimics diacylglycerol whose synthesis is triggered by diabetic hyperglycemia, while human retinal endothelial cells were treated with high glucose for different times. After selecting the optimal experimental conditions able to determine an increased VEGF production, in search of molecules useful to prevent DR development, we investigated the capability of troxerutin, an antioxidant flavonoid, to counteract not only the rise of VEGF but also the activation of the PKC beta II/HuR cascade in both in vitro models. The results show the capability of troxerutin to hinder the hyperglycemia-induced increase in VEGF in both models through PKC beta II/HuR pathway modulation. Further, these data confirm the key engagement of this cascade as an early event triggered by hyperglycemia to promote VEGF expression. Finally, the present findings also suggest the potential use of troxerutin as a preventive treatment during the early phases of DR.

Effect of troxerutin in counteracting hyperglycemia-induced VEGF upregulation in endothelial cells: a new option to target early stages of diabetic retinopathy?

Marchesi, N
;
Campagnoli, L I M;Caramella, C;Barbieri, A;Govoni, S;Pascale, A
2022

Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy (DR), one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus, is characterized by degeneration of retinal neurons and neoangiogenesis. Until today, the pharmacological approaches for DR are limited and focused on counteracting the end-stage of this neurodegenerative disease, therefore efforts should be carried out to discover novel pharmacological targets useful to prevent DR development. Hyperglycemia is a major risk factor for endothelial dysfunction and vascular complication, which subsequently may trigger neurodegeneration. We previously demonstrated that, in the rat retina, hyperglycemia activates a new molecular cascade implicating, up-stream, protein kinase C beta II (PKC beta II), which in turn leads to a higher expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), via the mRNA-binding Hu-antigen R (HuR) protein. VEGF is a pivotal mediator of neovascularization and a well-known vasopermeability factor. Blocking the increase of VEGF via modulation of this cascade can thus represent a new pharmacological option to prevent DR progression. To this aim, proper in vitro models are crucial for drug discovery, as they allow to better identify promising effective molecules. Considering that endothelial cells are key elements in DR and that hyperglycemia triggers the PKC beta II/HuR/VEGF pathway, we set up two distinct in vitro models applying two different stimuli. Namely, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were exposed to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, which mimics diacylglycerol whose synthesis is triggered by diabetic hyperglycemia, while human retinal endothelial cells were treated with high glucose for different times. After selecting the optimal experimental conditions able to determine an increased VEGF production, in search of molecules useful to prevent DR development, we investigated the capability of troxerutin, an antioxidant flavonoid, to counteract not only the rise of VEGF but also the activation of the PKC beta II/HuR cascade in both in vitro models. The results show the capability of troxerutin to hinder the hyperglycemia-induced increase in VEGF in both models through PKC beta II/HuR pathway modulation. Further, these data confirm the key engagement of this cascade as an early event triggered by hyperglycemia to promote VEGF expression. Finally, the present findings also suggest the potential use of troxerutin as a preventive treatment during the early phases of DR.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1461925
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