Paeoniflorin attenuates atRAL-induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress in retinal pigment epithelial cells via triggering Ca/CaMKII-dependent activation of AMPK.
Arch Pharm Res. 2018 Oct ;41(10):1009-1018. Epub 2018 Aug 16. PMID: 30117083
Abnormal accumulation of the free-form all-trans-retinal (atRAL), a major intermediate of human visual cycle, is considered to be a key cause of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) dysfunction in the pathogenesis of retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Paeoniflorin (PF), a monoterpene glucoside isolated from Paeonia lactiflora Pall., has been used in clinical treatment of retinal degenerative diseases in China for several years; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the protective effect of PF against atRAL toxicity in human ARPE-19 cells and its molecular mechanism. The results of our study showed that the pre-treatment of PF dose-dependently attenuated atRAL-induced cell injury by the reduction of Nox1/ROS-associated oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and GRP78-PERK-eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP-regulated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in ARPE-19 cells. Additionally, our data showed that PF mainly exerted its activity via triggering calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-mediated activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK inhibition significantly reversed the protective effect of PF against atRAL toxicity in ARPE-19 cells. Overall, our findings provided the novel mechanism of PF protecting human RPE cells, which may prevent the progression of retinal degenerative diseases.