Protective Effects of Panax notoginseng Saponins against High Glucose-Induced Oxidative Injury in Rat Retinal Capillary Endothelial Cells

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016:2016:5326382. doi: 10.1155/2016/5326382. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


Diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of visual loss and blindness, is characterized by microvascular dysfunction. Hyperglycemia is considered the major pathogenic factor for diabetic retinopathy and is associated with increased oxidative stress in the retina. In this study, we investigated the potential protective effects of Panax notoginseng Saponins (PNS) in retinal capillary endothelial cells (RCECs) exposed to high glucose conditions. We found a pronounced increase in cell viability in rat RCECs incubated with both PNS and high glucose (30 mM) for 48 h or 72 h. The increased viability was accompanied by reduced intracellular hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide (O2 (-)), decreased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), and lowered malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. PNS also increased the activities of total superoxide dismutase (SOD), MnSOD, catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX). The glutathione (GSH) content also increased after PNS treatment. Furthermore, PNS reduced NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) expression. These results indicate that PNS exerts a protective effect against high glucose-induced injury in RCECs, which may be partially attributed to its antioxidative function.