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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5806832, 10 pages
Research Article

Lycium barbarum Polysaccharides Protect Rat Corneal Epithelial Cells against Ultraviolet B-Induced Apoptosis by Attenuating the Mitochondrial Pathway and Inhibiting JNK Phosphorylation

1School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
2Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Lan Gao; nc.ude.uzl@naloag

Received 6 April 2017; Revised 5 June 2017; Accepted 14 June 2017; Published 17 July 2017

Academic Editor: Beatrice Charreau

Copyright © 2017 Shaobo Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) have been shown to play a key role in protecting the eyes by reducing the apoptosis induced by certain types of damage. However, it is not known whether LBPs can protect damaged corneal cells from apoptosis. Moreover, no reports have focused on the role of LBPs in guarding against ultraviolet B- (UVB-) induced apoptosis. The present study aimed to investigate the protective effect and underlying mechanism of LBPs against UVB-induced apoptosis in rat corneal epithelial (RCE) cells. The results showed that LBPs significantly prevented the loss of cell viability and inhibited cell apoptosis induced by UVB in RCE cells. LBPs also inhibited UVB-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, downregulation of Bcl-2, and upregulation of Bax and caspase-3. Finally, LBPs attenuated the phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) triggered by UVB. In summary, LBPs protect RCE cells against UVB-induced damage and apoptosis, and the underlying mechanism involves the attenuation of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and the inhibition of JNK phosphorylation.