Thioredoxin is implicated in the anti‑apoptotic effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract during hyperglycemia.
Mol Med Rep. 2017 Nov ;16(5):7731-7737. Epub 2017 Sep 18. PMID: 28944891
Diabetic retinopathy has long been recognized as a microvascular disease, however, recent research has indicated that diabetic retinopathy may also be considered a neurodegenerative disease. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of diabetic retinopathy is imperative for the development of preventive and treatment strategies for patients with diabetes. In the present study, grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) was used to upregulate the expression of thioredoxin (Trx), in order to evaluate its potential as a novel agent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed to observe the morphology of retinal neurons, whereas flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2'‑deoxyuridine, 5'‑triphosphate nick‑end labeling were employed to investigate cellular apoptosis. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were performed to assess the mRNA and protein expression of target proteins in order to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms. In vivo, it was found that the photoreceptor cell was damaged in diabetic mice but following GSPE treatment, the process could be inhibited. In vitro, the results of the current study demonstrated that, under hyperglycemic culture conditions, the expression of 78 kDaglucose‑regulated protein, which is an endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, was upregulated. In addition, the expression of Trx was downregulated and cell apoptosis was enhanced. Notably, treatment with GSPE was revealed to inhibit the neurodegenerative process induced by hyperglycemia. However,treatment with the Trx inhibitor PX12 in combination with GSPE was demonstrated to potentiate apoptosis compared with GSPE treatment alone under hyperglycemic conditions. Furthermore, the protein expression of apoptosis signal‑regulating kinase (ASK) 1 and Trx‑interacting protein (Txnip) was also upregulated by hyperglycemia, whereas GSPE was revealed to counteract this upregulation. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that Trx may be implicated in the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of GSPE against hyperglycemia‑induced cell degeneration and apoptosis.The molecular mechanisms may also involve inhibition of the activation of the Trx/ASK1/Txnip signaling pathway.