N-Acetyl-L-cysteine Protects Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from Oxidative Damage: Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Marcia R. Terluk, Mara C. Ebeling, Cody R. Fisher, Rebecca J. Kapphahn, Ching Yuan, Reena V. Kartha, Sandra R. Montezuma, Deborah A. Ferrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involves the loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA has been associated with RPE dysfunction and AMD. In this study, we evaluated oxidative stress in AMD and the efficacy of antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), in protecting RPE from oxidative damage. To test this idea, primary cultures of RPE from human donors with AMD (n = 32) or without AMD (No AMD, n = 21) were examined for expression of NADPH oxidase (NOX) genes, a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, the cells were pretreated with NAC for 2 hours and then treated with either hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) to induce cellular oxidation. Twenty-four hours after treatment, ROS production, cell survival, the content of glutathione (GSH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cellular bioenergetics were measured. We found increased expression of p22phox, a NOX regulator, in AMD cells compared to No AMD cells (p = 0.02). In both AMD and No AMD cells, NAC pretreatment reduced t-BHP-induced ROS production and protected from H2O2-induced cell death and ATP depletion. In the absence of oxidation, NAC treatment improved mitochondrial function in both groups (p < 0.01). Conversely, the protective response exhibited by NAC was disease-dependent for some parameters. In the absence of oxidation, NAC significantly reduced ROS production (p < 0.001) and increased GSH content (p = 0.02) only in RPE from AMD donors. Additionally, NAC-mediated protection from H2O2-induced GSH depletion (p = 0.04) and mitochondrial dysfunction (p < 0.05) was more pronounced in AMD cells compared with No AMD cells. These results demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of NAC by mitigating oxidative damage in RPE. Additionally, the favorable outcomes observed for AMD RPE support NAC's relevance and the potential therapeutic value in treating AMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalOxidative medicine and cellular longevity
Volume2019
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Retinal Pigments
Macular Degeneration
Acetylcysteine
Epithelial Cells
Retinal Pigment Epithelium
Reactive Oxygen Species
tert-Butylhydroperoxide
NADPH Oxidase
Oxidation
Adenosine Triphosphate
Oxidative stress
Cell death
Hydrogen Peroxide
Glutathione
Antioxidants
Genes
Cells
Lipids
Vertebrate Photoreceptor Cells
Blindness

Cite this

@article{e75517a01eab47cf86240ef6fce8593e,
title = "N-Acetyl-L-cysteine Protects Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from Oxidative Damage: Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration",
abstract = "Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involves the loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA has been associated with RPE dysfunction and AMD. In this study, we evaluated oxidative stress in AMD and the efficacy of antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), in protecting RPE from oxidative damage. To test this idea, primary cultures of RPE from human donors with AMD (n = 32) or without AMD (No AMD, n = 21) were examined for expression of NADPH oxidase (NOX) genes, a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, the cells were pretreated with NAC for 2 hours and then treated with either hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) to induce cellular oxidation. Twenty-four hours after treatment, ROS production, cell survival, the content of glutathione (GSH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cellular bioenergetics were measured. We found increased expression of p22phox, a NOX regulator, in AMD cells compared to No AMD cells (p = 0.02). In both AMD and No AMD cells, NAC pretreatment reduced t-BHP-induced ROS production and protected from H2O2-induced cell death and ATP depletion. In the absence of oxidation, NAC treatment improved mitochondrial function in both groups (p < 0.01). Conversely, the protective response exhibited by NAC was disease-dependent for some parameters. In the absence of oxidation, NAC significantly reduced ROS production (p < 0.001) and increased GSH content (p = 0.02) only in RPE from AMD donors. Additionally, NAC-mediated protection from H2O2-induced GSH depletion (p = 0.04) and mitochondrial dysfunction (p < 0.05) was more pronounced in AMD cells compared with No AMD cells. These results demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of NAC by mitigating oxidative damage in RPE. Additionally, the favorable outcomes observed for AMD RPE support NAC's relevance and the potential therapeutic value in treating AMD.",
author = "Terluk, {Marcia R.} and Ebeling, {Mara C.} and Fisher, {Cody R.} and Kapphahn, {Rebecca J.} and Ching Yuan and Kartha, {Reena V.} and Montezuma, {Sandra R.} and Ferrington, {Deborah A.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1155/2019/5174957",
language = "English (US)",
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journal = "Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity",
issn = "1942-0900",
publisher = "Hindawi Publishing Corporation",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - N-Acetyl-L-cysteine Protects Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from Oxidative Damage

T2 - Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AU - Terluk, Marcia R.

AU - Ebeling, Mara C.

AU - Fisher, Cody R.

AU - Kapphahn, Rebecca J.

AU - Yuan, Ching

AU - Kartha, Reena V.

AU - Montezuma, Sandra R.

AU - Ferrington, Deborah A.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involves the loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA has been associated with RPE dysfunction and AMD. In this study, we evaluated oxidative stress in AMD and the efficacy of antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), in protecting RPE from oxidative damage. To test this idea, primary cultures of RPE from human donors with AMD (n = 32) or without AMD (No AMD, n = 21) were examined for expression of NADPH oxidase (NOX) genes, a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, the cells were pretreated with NAC for 2 hours and then treated with either hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) to induce cellular oxidation. Twenty-four hours after treatment, ROS production, cell survival, the content of glutathione (GSH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cellular bioenergetics were measured. We found increased expression of p22phox, a NOX regulator, in AMD cells compared to No AMD cells (p = 0.02). In both AMD and No AMD cells, NAC pretreatment reduced t-BHP-induced ROS production and protected from H2O2-induced cell death and ATP depletion. In the absence of oxidation, NAC treatment improved mitochondrial function in both groups (p < 0.01). Conversely, the protective response exhibited by NAC was disease-dependent for some parameters. In the absence of oxidation, NAC significantly reduced ROS production (p < 0.001) and increased GSH content (p = 0.02) only in RPE from AMD donors. Additionally, NAC-mediated protection from H2O2-induced GSH depletion (p = 0.04) and mitochondrial dysfunction (p < 0.05) was more pronounced in AMD cells compared with No AMD cells. These results demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of NAC by mitigating oxidative damage in RPE. Additionally, the favorable outcomes observed for AMD RPE support NAC's relevance and the potential therapeutic value in treating AMD.

AB - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involves the loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA has been associated with RPE dysfunction and AMD. In this study, we evaluated oxidative stress in AMD and the efficacy of antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), in protecting RPE from oxidative damage. To test this idea, primary cultures of RPE from human donors with AMD (n = 32) or without AMD (No AMD, n = 21) were examined for expression of NADPH oxidase (NOX) genes, a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, the cells were pretreated with NAC for 2 hours and then treated with either hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) to induce cellular oxidation. Twenty-four hours after treatment, ROS production, cell survival, the content of glutathione (GSH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cellular bioenergetics were measured. We found increased expression of p22phox, a NOX regulator, in AMD cells compared to No AMD cells (p = 0.02). In both AMD and No AMD cells, NAC pretreatment reduced t-BHP-induced ROS production and protected from H2O2-induced cell death and ATP depletion. In the absence of oxidation, NAC treatment improved mitochondrial function in both groups (p < 0.01). Conversely, the protective response exhibited by NAC was disease-dependent for some parameters. In the absence of oxidation, NAC significantly reduced ROS production (p < 0.001) and increased GSH content (p = 0.02) only in RPE from AMD donors. Additionally, NAC-mediated protection from H2O2-induced GSH depletion (p = 0.04) and mitochondrial dysfunction (p < 0.05) was more pronounced in AMD cells compared with No AMD cells. These results demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of NAC by mitigating oxidative damage in RPE. Additionally, the favorable outcomes observed for AMD RPE support NAC's relevance and the potential therapeutic value in treating AMD.

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