Goji berry may have therapeutic potential in diabetic retinopathy. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Reversal of the Caspase-Dependent Apoptotic Cytotoxicity Pathway by Taurine from Lycium barbarum (Goji Berry) in Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells: Potential Benefit in Diabetic Retinopathy.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:323784. Epub 2012 Apr 11. PMID: 22567031
Herbal Medicine Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
Diabetic retinopathy is a preventable microvascular diabetic complication and a leading cause of vision loss. Retinal pigment epithelial cell apoptosis is an early event in diabetic retinopathy. Taurine is reportedly beneficial for diabetic retinopathy and is abundant in the fruit of Lycium barbarum (LB). We have investigated the effect of pure taurine and an extract of LB rich in taurine on a model of diabetic retinopathy, the retinal ARPE-19 cell line exposed to high glucose. We demonstrate for the first time that LB extract and the active ligand, taurine, dose dependently enhance cell viability following high glucose treatment in the ARPE-19 retinal epithelial cell line. This cytoprotective effect was associated with the attenuation of high glucose-induced apoptosis, which was shown by characteristic morphological staining and the dose-dependent decrease in the number of apoptotic cells, determined by flow cytometry. Moreover, we have shown that LB extract and taurine dose dependently downregulate caspase-3 protein expression and the enzymatic activity of caspase-3. We conclude that taurine, a major component of LB, and the LB extract, have a cytoprotective effect against glucose exposure in a human retinal epithelial cell line and may provide useful approaches to delaying diabetic retinopathy progression.