Polyphenol-enriched Vaccinium uliginosum L. fractions reduce retinal damage induced by blue light in A2E-laden ARPE19 cell cultures and mice.
Nutr Res. 2016 Dec ;36(12):1402-1414. Epub 2016 Nov 18. PMID: 27993192
Polyphenols exert beneficial effects on vision. We hypothesized that polyphenol components of Vaccinium uliginosum L. (V.U.) extract protect retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells against blue light-induced damage. Our aim was to test extracts containing polyphenol components to ascertain effects to reduce damage against blue light in RPEs. We measured the activity in fractions eluted from water, ethanol, and HP20 resin (FH), and found that the FH fraction had the highest beneficial activity. We isolated the individual active compounds from the FH fraction using chromatographic techniques, and found that FH contained flavonoids, anthocyanins, phenyl propanoids, and iridoids. Cell cultures of A2E-laden ARPE-19 exposed to blue light after treatment with V.U. extract fractions and their individual constituents indicated improvement. V uliginosum L extract fractions and constituent compounds significantly reduced A2E photo-oxidation-induced RPE cell death and inhibited intracellular A2E accumulation. Furthermore, Balb/c male mice were exposed to blue light at 10000 lux for 1 h/d for 2 weeks to induce retinal damage. One week after the final blue light exposure, retinal damage evaluated revealed that the outer nuclear layer thickness and nuclei count were improved. Histologic examination of murine photoreceptor cells demonstrated that FH, rich in polyphenols, inhibited the loss of outer nuclear layer thickness and nuclei. Our findings suggest that V.U. extract and eluted fractions are a potential source of bioactive compounds that potentially serve a therapeutic approach for age-related macular degeneration.