Ulmus davidiana 60% edible ethanolic extract for prevention of pericyte apoptosis in diabetic retinopathy

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023 May 10:14:1138676. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1138676. eCollection 2023.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a disease that causes visual deficiency owing to vascular leakage or abnormal angiogenesis. Pericyte apoptosis is considered one of the main causes of vascular leakage in diabetic retina, but there are few known therapeutic agents that prevent it. Ulmus davidiana is a safe natural product that has been used in traditional medicine and is attracting attention as a potential treatment for various diseases, but its effect on pericyte loss or vascular leakage in DR is not known at all. In the present study, we investigated on the effects of 60% edible ethanolic extract of U. davidiana (U60E) and catechin 7-O-β-D-apiofuranoside (C7A), a compound of U. davidiana, on pericyte survival and endothelial permeability. U60E and C7A prevented pericyte apoptosis by inhibiting the activation of p38 and JNK induced by increased glucose and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels in diabetic retina. Moreover, U60E and C7A reduced endothelial permeability by preventing pericyte apoptosis in co-cultures of pericytes and endothelial cells. These results suggest that U60E and C7A could be a potential therapeutic agent for reducing vascular leakage by preventing pericyte apoptosis in DR.

Keywords: Ulmus davidiana; catechin 7-O-β-D-apiofuranoside; diabetic retinopathy; endothelial permeability; pericyte apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy* / prevention & control
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Pericytes
  • Ulmus*

Grants and funding

This study was supported by 2021 Research Grant from Kangwon National University (520210059) and a National Research Foundation of Korea grants funded by the Korean government (NRF-2020R1I1A3071928 to J-HY, NRF-2021R1C1C2003405 to J-KB, and NRF-2021R1A5A2031612 to IK).