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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5962832, 12 pages
Research Article

Protective Effect of D-Limonene against Oxidative Stress-Induced Cell Damage in Human Lens Epithelial Cells via the p38 Pathway

1Key Laboratory of Harbin Medical University Eye Center, Eye Hospital, First Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China
2State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, China

Received 2 April 2015; Revised 29 May 2015; Accepted 2 August 2015

Academic Editor: Alin Ciobica

Copyright © 2016 Jie Bai 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.


Oxidative stress, as mediated by ROS, is a significant factor in initiating the development of age-associated cataracts; D-limonene is a common natural terpene with powerful antioxidative properties which occurs naturally in a wide variety of living organisms. It has been shown to have antioxidant effect; we found that D-limonene can effectively prevent the oxidative damage caused by H2O2 and propose that the main mechanism underlying the inhibitory effects of D-limonene is the inhibition of HLECs apoptosis. In the present study, we used confocal-fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry analysis, Hoechst staining, H2DCFDA staining, transmission electron microscopy, and immunoblot analysis; the results revealed that slightly higher concentrations of D-limonene (125–1800 μM) reduced the H2O2-induced ROS generation and inhibited the H2O2-induced caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation and decreased the Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Furthermore, it inhibited H2O2-induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Thus, we conclude that D-limonene could effectively protect HLECs from H2O2-induced oxidative stress and that its antioxidative effect is significant, thereby increasing the cell survival rate.