Inhibition of apoptosis in human retinal pigment epithelial cells treated with benzo(e)pyrene, a toxic component of cigarette smoke.
World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep 14;16(34):4313-20. PMID: 19959636
Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92868, USA.
PURPOSE: To study the inhibitory effects of some agents or drugs (inhibitors) on benzo(e)pyrene (B(e)P)-induced cell death and apoptosis on human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells in vitro.
METHODS: ARPE-19 cells were pretreated with varying concentrations of different classes of inhibitors (calpain, benzyl isothiocyanate [BITC], simvastatin, epicatechin, genistein, resveratrol, and memantine) before B(e)P exposure. Cell viability (CV) was determined by a trypan blue dye-exclusion assay. Caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activities were measured by fluorochrome assays. The production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) was measured with 2',7'-dicholorodihydrofluorescein diacetate dye assay.
RESULTS: At 30-microM concentrations, the genistein, resveratrol, and memantine inhibitors were able to reverse significantly the loss of cell viability, the activation of caspase-3/7 and caspase-9, and the production of ROS/RNS in ARPE-19 cell cultures. Memantine was the most potent and genistein was the least effective inhibitor in blocking the B(e)P-induced effects. Calpain, BITC, simvastatin, and epicatechin did not reverse the loss of cell viability in B(e)P-treated ARPE-19 cells. As a matter of fact, at the concentrations studied (15, 30, 45 microM), the BITC plus B(e)P-treated cultures showed significantly lower cell viability than the B(e)P-treated culture alone, suggesting BITC-related toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: Genistein, resveratrol, and memantine can reverse the apoptosis and oxidant production generated by B(e)P, a toxic element of smoking. These inhibitors may be beneficial against retinal diseases associated with the loss of RPE cells.