Sinomenine inhibits activation of rat retinal microglia induced by advanced glycation end products

Ai Ling Wang, Zhengbin Li, Ming Yuan, Albert C.H. Yu, Xiu'An Zhu, Mark O.M. Tso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Diabetic retinopathy involves an inflammatory response in the retina characterized by an increase in inflammatory cytokines and activation of microglia. The degree of microglia activation may influence the extent of retina injury following an inflammatory stimulus. Cytokines, released by activated microglia, regulate the influx of inflammatory cells to the damaged area. Thus, therapeutic strategy to reduce cytokine expression in microglia would be neuroprotective. Sinomenine, an alkaloid isolated from the stem and root of Sinomenium acutum, has long been recognized as an anti-inflammatory drug for rheumatoid arthritis and also inhibits macrophage activation. In this study, we activated retinal microglia in culture with advanced glycation end products (AGEs) treatment and attempted to determine whether sinomenine could reduce the production of cytokines from the activated microglia at both gene and protein levels. Changes in inflammatory cytokines, TNF alpha, IL-1 beta and IL-6, were measured by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) both in the presence and absence of AGEs. The effect of sinomenine on levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the nuclear translocation of NF-kB p65 were studied with a laser confocal scanning microscope. AGEs treatment induced a significant release of TNF alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6 from retinal microglia. Sinomenine could inhibit release of these cytokines. Sinomenine attenuated ROS production in a dose-dependent fashion and reduced the nuclear translocation of NF-kB p65 in AGEs-activated retinal microglia in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1558
Number of pages7
JournalInternational immunopharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 5 2007


  • AGEs
  • Microglia
  • Retina
  • Sinomenine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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