Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis in the mammalian eye, suggesting that loss of PEDF is implicated in the pathogenesis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. However, a role for PEDF in early diabetic retinopathy remains to be elucidated. Since oxidative stress is thought to be involved in pericyte loss and dysfunction, one of the changes characteristic of early diabetic retinopathy, we investigated whether and how PEDF could protect cultured retinal pericyte against oxidative stress injury. High glucose (30 mM) increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in pericytes, which was completely blocked by PEDF. High glucose or H2O2 was found to induce growth retardation and apoptotic cell death of pericytes. PEDF completely restored these cytopathic effects on pericytes. An increased ratio of bax to bcl-2 mRNA level with subsequent activation of caspase-3 was observed in high-glucose- or H 2O2-exposed pericytes, which was also completely prevented by PEDF. PEDF significantly increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) mRNA levels and activity in pericytes. Further, PEDF was found to completely inhibit high-glucose- or H2O2-induced increase in a mRNA ratio of angiopoietin-2 to angiopoietin-1 and up-regulation of VEGF mRNA levels in pericytes. PEDF mRNA levels themselves were down-regulated in high-glucose- or H2O2-exposed pericytes. These results demonstrate that PEDF protects against high-glucose- or H2O2-induced pericyte apoptosis and dysfunction through its anti-oxidative properties via GPx induction. Our present study suggests that substitution of PEDF proteins might be a promising therapeutic strategy for treatment of patients with early diabetic retinopathy.
- Early diabetic retinopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine