Effect of zeaxanthin and antioxidant supplementation on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in apolipoprotein-E deficient mice
Apolipoprotein E(-/-) deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice develop hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, and retinal alterations. We studied the oxidative status and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in murine retinal pigment epithelium-choroid (RPE) and Bruch's membrane (BM) ultrastructure and the effect of zeaxanthin.
Ten 6-month-old C57BL/6 and 40 apoE(-/-) mice were divided into four groups (n = 10 each) and fed different diets for 12 weeks based on body weight: wild type (WT) and apoE(-/-) (AE-Con) mice standard rodent chow; apoE(-/-) mice (AES) standard rodent chow with ascorbate (800 mg/kg), tocopherol (1053 mg/kg), and zinc (135 mg/kg); and apoE(-/-) mice the last diet plus zeaxanthin with either 0.4 g/kg (AES-Z04) or 4 g/kg feed (AES-Z4).
Plasma total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) and urine lipid peroxidation (isoprostanes) were measured. VEGF expression was determined in RPE-choroid homogenates. Zeaxanthin uptake was assessed in liver and retina by high-performance liquid chromatography; the retinal ultrastructure was analyzed by electron microscopy. AE-Con mice had higher plasma TC (p < 0.001) and TG (p < 0.001) values than WT mice. AE-Con mice had higher RPE-choroid-VEGF levels than WT mice (p < 0.05), BM thickness (p < 0.001) and presence of basal laminar deposits (BLamD). AES-Z4 resulted in lower urinary isoprostanes (p = 0.054) and lower VEGF expression in the RPE-choroid (p < 0.01). BM in the AES-Z4 animals had less confluent BLamD than AE-Con, AES, or AES-Z04 animals.
We have reported that supplementation with zeaxanthin and antioxidants may delay or reverse alterations in the RPE and deposits in BM, and reduced VEGF expression observed in apoE(-/-) mice.
CITATION Curr Eye Res. 2009 Jul;34(7):543-52