Astragaloside IV protects against retinal iron overload toxicity through iron regulation and the inhibition of MAPKs and NF-κB activation.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 01 1 ;410:115361. Epub 2020 Dec 4. PMID: 33285147
Iron overload toxicity has been implicated in retinal pigment epithelial cell injury in age-related macular degeneration. This study investigates the effects of astragaloside IV (AS-IV), a potential retinal protective agent, on the toxicity process of retinal iron overload in vivo and in vitro. AS-IV partially restored the retinal expression of rhodopsin and retinal pigment epithelium-specific 65 kDa protein, suppressed oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, and alleviated iron deposition and retinal pathological changes in vivo. Also, AS-IV inhibited the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), as well as the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). Furthermore, AS-IV prevented cell death by decreasing the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2, caspase-3, and cleaved caspase-3 expression in vitro. Although there are no chelation effects between AS-IV and iron, AS-IV can reduce intracellular iron by regulating iron-handling proteins in ARPE-19 cells(Cav1.2, divalent metal transporter-1, transferrin receptor 1, and heavy-chain ferritin). In conclusion, the results show that AS-IV has significant protective effects against retinal iron overload toxicity and suggest that iron regulation and the inhibition of MAPKs and NF-κB activation might bemechanisms underlying the effects of AS-IV.