Zeaxanthin inhibits hypoxia-induced VEGF secretion by RPE cells through decreased protein levels of hypoxia-inducible factors-1α

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:687386. doi: 10.1155/2015/687386. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Abstract

Hypoxia is the most important stimulus leading to upregulation of VEGF in the retina and this is caused by accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factors-1α (HIF-1α) protein. The effects of zeaxanthin, a natural phytochemical, on the VEGF and HIF-1α expression in the primary culture of human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells were studied. An in vitro RPE cell hypoxia model was established by placing cells under 1% oxygen pressure or by adding cobalt chloride (CoCl2) to the culture medium. RPE cells and conditioned media were collected from cultures treated with and without zeaxanthin under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. VEGF and HIF-1α protein and RNA levels were measured by ELISA kits and RT-PCR, respectively. Hypoxia caused a significant increase of VEGF expression and accumulation of HIF-1α in RPE cells. Zeaxanthin at 50-150 μM significantly inhibited the expression of VEGF and accumulation of HIF-1α protein caused by hypoxia but did not affect expression of VEGF and HIF-1α under normoxic conditions. This is the first report on the effect of zeaxanthin on VEGF and HIF-1α levels in cultured RPE cells and suggests that zeaxanthin may have potential value in the prevention and treatment of various retinal diseases associated with vascular leakage and neovascularization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cell Hypoxia / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cobalt / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / cytology*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*
  • Zeaxanthins / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Antioxidants
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Cobalt
  • cobaltous chloride
  • Oxygen