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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 1610751, 14 pages
Research Article

Protection of Kaempferol on Oxidative Stress-Induced Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cell Damage

1The School of Pharmacy, He University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110163, China
2Shenyang Industrial Technology Institute of Ophthalmology, Shenyang 110163, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Donglei Zhang; nc.ude.huh@ielgnodgnahz and Wei He; nc.ude.huh@ieweh

Received 7 August 2018; Revised 27 September 2018; Accepted 30 September 2018; Published 21 November 2018

Academic Editor: Demetrios Kouretas

Copyright © 2018 Weiwei 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.


The protection of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) injury plays an important role in the prevention of or in delaying the pathological progress of retinal degeneration diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Oxidative stress has been identified as a major inducer of RPE injury, which eventually could lead to a loss of vision. Kaempferol is a natural flavonoid widely distributed in many edible plants, fruits, and traditional medicines and has been reported to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities. The present study demonstrates that the total antioxidant capacity of kaempferol is approximately two times stronger than that of lutein which is also a natural antioxidant that is widely used in the prevention or treatment of AMD. Our data indicates that kaempferol protects human RPE cells (ARPE-19) from hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) induced oxidative cell damage and apoptosis through the signaling pathways involving Bax/Bcl-2 and caspase-3 molecules proofed by real-time PCR and Western blot results. Kaempferol also inhibits the upregulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA expression levels induced by H2O2 in ARPE-19 cells and affects the oxidation and antioxidant imbalanced system in ARPE-19 cells treated by H2O2 through the regulations of both the activities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Furthermore, our in vivo experimental results show that in sodium iodate-induced retinal degeneration rat model, kaempferol could protect sodium iodate-induced pathological changes of retina tissue and retinal cells apoptosis as well as the upregulated VEGF protein expression in RPE cells. In summary, these novel findings demonstrate that kaempferol could protect oxidative stressed-human RPE cell damage through its antioxidant activity and antiapoptosis function, suggesting that kaempferol has a potential role in the prevention and therapeutic treatment of AMD or other retinal diseases mediated by oxidative stress.