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Aldose reductase inhibitor fidarestat counteracts diabetes-associated cataract formation, retinal oxidative-nitrosative stress, glial activation, and apoptosis

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This study was aimed at evaluating the potent and specific aldose reductase inhibitor fidarestat, on diabetes-associated cataract formation, and retinal oxidative-nitrosative stress, glial activation, and apoptosis. Control and streptozotocin-diabetic rats were treated with or without fidarestat (16 mg kg-1d-1) for 10 weeks after an initial 2-week period without treatment. Lens changes were evaluated by indirect ophthalmoscopy and portable slit lamp. Nitrotyrosine, poly(ADP-ribose), and glial fibrillary acidic protein expression were assessed by immunohistochemistry. The rate of apoptosis was quantified in flat-mounted retinas by TUNEL assay with immunoperoxidase staining. To dissect the effects of high glucose exposure in retinal microvascular cells, primary bovine retinal pericytes and endothelial cells were cultured in 5 or 30 mM glucose, with or without fidarestat (10 μM) for 3-14 days. Apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL assay, nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) by immunocytochemistry, and Bax and Bcl-2 expression by Western blot analyses. Fidarestat treatment prevented diabetic cataract formation and counteracted retinal nitrosative stress, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation, as well as glial activation. The number of TUNEL-positive nuclei (mean ± SEM) was increased approximately 4-fold in diabetic rats vs. controls (207±33 vs. 49±4, p<0.01), and this increase was partially prevented by fidarestat (106±34, p<0.05 vs. untreated diabetic group). The apoptotic cell number increased with the prolongation of exposure of both pericytes and endothelial cells to high glucose levels. Fidarestat counteracted nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) accumulation and apoptosis in both cell types. Antiapoptotic effect of fidarestat in high glucose-exposed retinal pericytes was not associated with the inhibition of Bax or increase in Bcl-2 expression. In conclusion, the findings, i) support an important role for aldose reductase in diabetes-associated cataract formation, and retinal oxidative-nitrosative stress, glial activation, and apoptosis, and ii) provide a rationale for the development of aldose reductase inhibitors, and, in particular, fidarestat, for the prevention and treatment of diabetic ocular complications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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