Naringin attenuates diabetic retinopathy by inhibiting inflammation, oxidative stress and NF-κB activation in vivo and in vitro

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang, Liaoning 110847, People’s Republic of China

2 Department of Anatomy, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning 121001, People’s Republic of China

3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning 121001, People’s Republic of China

4 Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning 121001, People’s Republic of China


Objective(s): Naringin, an essential flavonoid, inhibits inflammatory response and oxidative stress in diabetes. However, whether naringin has beneficial effects on diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains unknown.
Materials and Methods: Streptozotocin (STZ, 65 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally injected into male rats (8 weeks old weighting 200-250 g) to establish diabetic model, then naringin (20, 40 or 80 mg/kg/day) was intraperitoneally injected into the diabetic rats for twelve weeks. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) level, thickness of ganglion cell layer (GCL) and ganglion cell counts were assessed in diabetic retina in vivo. Naringin (50 μM) that significantly inhibited high glucose (HG, 25 mM)-induced cell proliferation was used to treat rat Muller cell line (rMC1) in vitro. Inflammatory response, oxidative stress and activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 were evaluated in retina in vivo and in rMC1 cells in vitro.
Results: Naringin alleviated DR symptoms as evidenced by the increased retinal ganglion cells and decreased GFAP level in rat retina. Naringin exhibited anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects as confirmed by the down-regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the up-regulated antioxidants, glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in DR rats. Moreover, we found that naringin inhibited HG-induced proliferation, abnormal inflammatory response and oxidative stress in rMC1 cells. In addition, the enhanced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in diabetic rat retina and HG-induced rMC1 cells was suppressed by naringin.
Conclusion: Naringin attenuates inflammatory response, oxidative stress and NF-κB activation in experimental models of DR.


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