IMR Press / FBL / Volume 27 / Issue 11 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2711308
Open Access Original Research
Antioxidant Activity of Cyanidin-3-O-Glucoside and Verbascoside in an in Vitro Model of Diabetic Retinopathy
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1 Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine, Section of Medical Biochemistry, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Sicilia, Italy
2 Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Enna “Kore'', 94100 Enna, Sicilia, Italy
3 Fidia-Ofta Research Center c/o Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Catania University, 95123 Catania, Sicilia, Italy
*Correspondence: (Dario Rusciano)
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Graham Pawelec
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2022, 27(11), 308;
Submitted: 23 July 2022 | Revised: 8 November 2021 | Accepted: 9 November 2021 | Published: 17 November 2022
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation plays a pivotal role in the onset of cell damage induced by hyperglycemia and represents one of the major factors in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. In this study, we tested the antioxidants cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3G) and verbascoside (Verb) in the protection of retinal endothelium against glucose toxicity “in vitro”. Methods: Increasing amounts (5–50 μM) of C3G, Verb or the combination of both compounds were tested in Human Retinal Endothelial Cells (HREC) grown with normal glucose (5 mM, NG) or high glucose (25 mM, HG). Results: Reduced cell viability and enhanced ROS levels (evaluated by MTT and H2DCFDA assays, respectively) in HG-stimulated HREC were restored by C3G and Verb in a dose-dependent manner, achieving the maximum protection in the presence of both compounds. Moreover, co-treatment with C3G and Verb worked better than each single molecule alone in the prevention of the disruption of blood-retinal-barrier-like properties by HG in a confluent HREC monolayer, as assessed by trans endothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and Na-Fluorescein permeability assays. Accordingly, C3G and Verb together also better counteracted the HG-induced down-regulation of the tight junction membrane proteins Zonula Occludens-1 and VE-Cadherin evaluated by immunocytochemical and Western blot analyses. Conclusions: In conclusion, our data indicate that C3G and Verb could efficiently protect the retinal endothelium against high glucose damage.

high glucose
retinal endothelial cells
Zonula Occludens-1
Na-Fluorescein permeability assay
reactive oxygen species
Fig. 1.
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