Roles of AMP-activated protein kinase in diabetes-induced retinal inflammation

Shunsuke Kubota, Yoko Ozawa, Toshihide Kurihara, Mariko Sasaki, Kenya Yuki, Seiji Miyake, Kousuke Noda, Susumu Ishida, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the roles of AMPK in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy using the known AMPK activators resveratrol and AICAR (5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside) in a mouse model. Methods. C57BL/6 mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes were treated with resveratrol orally at 50 mg/kg for 7 days or with AICAR intraperitoneally at 100 mg/kg 24 hours before death. Retinal protein levels of phosphorylated and total AMPK, phosphorylated nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were evaluated by Western blot analysis or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Retinal activity of sirtuin (SIRT)1 was measured by deacetylase fluorometric assay. Leukocyte adhesion to the retinal vasculature was examined with a concanavalin A lectin perfusion-labeling technique. Results. Induction of diabetes in mice led to retinal AMPK dephosphorylation, which was significantly reversed by either resveratrol or AICAR. Either resveratrol or AICAR significantly reversed SIRT1 deactivation and NF-κB phosphorylation, both of which were induced in the diabetic retina. Administration of resveratrol to diabetic mice significantly reduced diabetes-induced retinal leukocyte adhesion, together with retinal expression of ICAM-1 and VEGF. Conclusions. The present findings reveal that diabetes-induced retinal inflammation stems from downregulation of the AMPK pathway, leading subsequently to SIRT1 deactivation and NF-κB activation. The data also suggest the potential use of the AMPK activator resveratrol as a therapeutic agent for diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9142-9148
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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