Bio-medical materials and engineering

The effect of astragalin on the VEGF production of cultured Müller cells under high glucose conditions.

PMID 22766709


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) and often causes vision loss or even blindness. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina, which is mainly derived from Müller cells, is a crucial biological factor in the development of DR. Astragalin is extracted from Astragalus membranaceus and has many pharmacological properties. Studies showed that astragalin has beneficial effects on hyperglycemia. To evaluate the effect of astragalin in preventing and treating DR and determine astragalin's mechanism of action, Müller cells were collected from rat retina, cultured in vitro and identified using immunocytochemistry. They were divided into four groups: the high glucose group (20 mmol/l), the normal control group, the astragalin group (400 mg/l) and the high glucose (20 mmol/l) + astragalin (400 mg/l) group. After 3 days of treatment, immunocytochemical and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of VEGF was carried out. Our results demonstrated that astragalin decreased the overexpression of VEGF in Müller cells and alleviated the effects caused by high glucose. Thus, astragalin has promising application in preventing and treating DR caused by DM.