Angiotensin II type 1 receptor signaling contributes to synaptophysin degradation and neuronal dysfunction in the diabetic retina

Toshihide Kurihara, Yoko Ozawa, Norihiro Nagai, Kei Shinoda, Kousuke Noda, Yutaka Imamura, Kazuo Tsubota, Hideyuki Okano, Yuichi Oike, Susumu Ishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE-Pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes-induced retinal dysfunction are not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to show the relationship of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) with the synaptic vesicle protein synaptophysin and neuronal activity in the diabetic retina. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-C57BL/6 mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes were treated with the angioten-sin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker telimsartan or valsartan, and retinal function was analyzed by electroretinography. Retinal production of the RAS components and phosphorylation of ERK (extracellular- signal regulated kinase) were examined by immu-noblotting. Retinal mRNA and protein levels of synaptophysin were measured by quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses, respectively. In vitro, synaptophysin levels were also evaluated using angiotensin II-stimulated PC12D neuronal cells cultured with or without the inhibition of ERK signaling or the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). RESULTS-Induction of diabetes led to a significant increase in retinal production of angiotensin II and AT1R together with ERK activation in the downstream of AT1R. AT1R blockade significantly reversed diabetes-induced electroretinography changes and reduction of synaptophysin protein, but not mRNA, levels in the diabetic retina. In agreement with the AT1R-mediated post-transcriptional downregulation of synaptophysin in vivo, in vitro application of angiotensin II to PC12D neuronal cells caused the UPS-mediated degradation of synaptophysin protein via AT1R, which proved to be induced by ERK activation. CONCLUSIONS-These data indicate the first molecular evidence of the RAS-induced synaptophysin degradation and neuronal dysfunction in the diabetic retina, suggesting the possibility of the AT1R blockade as a novel neuroprotective treatment for diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2198
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Angiotensin II type 1 receptor signaling contributes to synaptophysin degradation and neuronal dysfunction in the diabetic retina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this