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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 518317, 10 pages
Research Article

Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. Alleviates Diabetic Retinopathy by Preventing Retinal Inflammation and Tight Junction Protein Decrease

1The Shanghai Key Laboratory of Complex Prescription and The MOE Key Laboratory for Standardization of Chinese Medicines, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Center for Drug Safety Evaluation and Research, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 16 September 2014; Revised 8 December 2014; Accepted 16 December 2014

Academic Editor: Mark A. Yorek

Copyright © 2015 Zengyang Yu 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.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to observe the alleviation of the ethanol extract of Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. (DC), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on DR and its engaged mechanism. After DC (30 or 300 mg/kg) was orally administrated, the breakdown of blood retinal barrier (BRB) in streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats was attenuated by DC. Decreased retinal mRNA expression of tight junction proteins (including occludin and claudin-1) in diabetic rats was also reversed by DC. Western blot analysis and retinal immunofluorescence staining results further confirmed that DC reversed the decreased expression of occludin and claudin-1 proteins in diabetic rats. DC reduced the increased retinal mRNA expressions of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin- (IL-) 6, and IL-1β in diabetic rats. In addition, DC alleviated the increased 1 and phosphorylated p65, IκB, and IκB kinase (IKK) in diabetic rats. DC also reduced the increased serum levels of TNFα, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-6, IL-1β, IL-8, IL-12, IL-2, IL-3, and IL-10 in diabetic rats. Therefore, DC can alleviate DR by inhibiting retinal inflammation and preventing the decrease of tight junction proteins, such as occludin and claudin-1.