Protective effects of flavonoids in acute models of light-induced retinal degeneration. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Mol Pharmacol. 2020 Nov 5. Epub 2020 Nov 5. PMID: 33154094
Joseph T Ortega
Degeneration of photoreceptors caused by excessive illumination, inherited mutations or aging are the principal pathology of blinding diseases. Pharmacological compounds that stabilize the visual receptor, rhodopsin, and modulate the cellular pathways triggering death of photoreceptors could avert this pathology. Interestingly, flavonoids can modulate the cellular processes such as oxidative stress, inflammatory responses, and apoptosis that are activated during retinal degeneration. As we found previously, flavonoids also bind directly to unliganded rod opsin, enhancing its folding, stability, and regeneration. In addition, flavonoids stimulate rhodopsin gene expression. Thus, we evaluated the effect of two main dietary flavonoids, quercetin and myricetin inand WT BALB/c mice susceptible to light-induced photoreceptors' degeneration. Usingimaging such as optical coherence tomography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and histological assessment of retinal morphology, we found that treatment with these flavonoids prior to light insult remarkably protected retina from deterioration and preserved its function. Using HPLC-MS analysis, we detected these flavonoids in the eye upon their intraperitoneal administration. The molecular events associated with the protective effect of quercetin and myricetin were related to the elevated expression of photoreceptor-specific proteins, rhodopsin and cone opsins, decreased expression of the specific inflammatory markers, and the shift of the equilibrium between BAX/BCL-2 towards an anti-apoptotic profile. These results were confirmed in photoreceptor-derived 661W cells treated with either HOor all--retinal stressors implicated in the mechanism of retinal degeneration. Altogether, flavonoids could have significant prophylactic value for retinal degenerative diseases.Flavonoids commonly present in food exhibit advantageous effects in blinding diseases. They bind to, and stabilize unliganded rod opsin, which in excess accelerate degenerative processes in the retina. Additionally, flavonoids enhance the expression of the visual receptors, rod and cone opsins, inhibit the inflammatory reactions and induce the expression of anti-apoptotic markers in the retina, preventing the degenerationThus, flavonoids could have a prophylactic value for retinal degenerative diseases.