The retinal vascular endothelial cells can be damaged by oxidative stress even in the early stage of diabetic retinopathy (DR). This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of curcumin on the rat retinal vascular endothelial cells (RRVECs) in high glucose circumstance.
The cultured RRVECs were identified and characterized by both of vWF and CD31 immunofluorescence expression. The activation of ROS/NF-κB signal pathway was examined by electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA), immunohistochemistry and Western blot; the apoptosis of RRVECs was tested by flow cytometry.
We found that curcumin reduced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and relieved the apoptosis in RRVECs exposed to the high glucose by flow cytometry. It was revealed that the increased activity of NF-κB and phosphorylated NF-κB in RRVECs induced by high glucose concentration was significantly suppressed by curcumin.
We concluded that curcumin could suppress the oxidative stress via regulation of NF-κB signal to protect the RRVECs in DR.