Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Potential Retinal Benefits of Dietary Polyphenols Based on Their Permeability across the Blood-Retinal Barrier.

PMID 28362088


Whether all dietary polyphenols nourish the eyes via oral supplementation is controversial. Given that passage of dietary polyphenols across the blood-retina barrier (BRB) is the precondition for polyphenols to exhibit ocular benefits, the BRB permeability of polyphenols was assessed in this study. Being common dietary polyphenols in fruits and vegetables, nonanthocyanin flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids were investigated. BRB was simulated in vitro by using a differentiated retinal pigment epithelial cell monolayer cultivated on a Transwell culture system. Penetration rate was calculated by quantitatively analyzing the polyphenols in basolateral media. The BRB permeability of different polyphenols obviously (p < 0.05) differed, as follows: phenolic acids > nonanthocyanin flavonoids > anthocyanins. Glycosylation and methylation improved the BRB permeability of nonanthocyanin flavonoids and anthocyanins. However, instability and carbonylation at the C-4 position severely suppressed the BRB permeability of anthocyanins and nonanthocyanin flavonoids. Moreover, a new metabolite was discovered during penetration of anthocyanins into the BRB. However, hydrophilic phenolic acids exhibited better BRB permeability than hydrophobic ones. Data demonstrate that BRB permeability of polyphenols was determined based on structural characteristics, hydrophilicity, stability, and metabolic changes.

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