Retinal photoreceptors are particularly vulnerable to local high-glucose concentrations. Oxidative stress is a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy development. Melanocortin receptors represent a family of G-protein-coupled receptors classified in five subtypes and are expressed in retina. Our previous data indicate that subtypes 1 and 5 receptor agonists exert a protective role on experimental diabetic retinopathy. This study focuses on their role in primary retinal cell cultures in high-glucose concentrations. After eye enucleation from wild-type male C57BL/6 mice, retinal cells were isolated, plated in high-glucose concentration and treated with melanocortin receptors 1 and 5 agonists and antagonists. Immunocytochemical and biochemical analysis showed that treatment with melanocortin receptors 1 and 5 agonists reduced anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and enhanced manganese superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels, preserving photoreceptor integrity. According with these evidences, we propose a major role of melanocortin receptors 1 and 5 on primary retinal cell response against high glucose or oxidative insults.
Keywords: hyperglycaemia; melanocortin receptor agonists; oxidative stress; photoreceptors; primary retinal cell cultures.
© 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.