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Salceda, R; Contreras-Cubas, C (2007)

ASCORBATE UPTAKE IN NORMAL AND DIABETIC RAT RETINA AND RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM

COMP BIOCHEM PHYS C 146():175-179
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Oxidative stress is an important causative factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, it becomes important to understand the mechanisms that help maintain appropriate levels of a small molecule antioxidant such as ascorbate in the retina. The outer blood-banier which results from the tight junctions between the retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) restricts the flow of nutrients reaching the retina. In this study, we characterized the transport properties of carboxyl-C-14 ascorbate (AA) in normal rat retina and RPE, and compared them with those in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Retina and RPE accumulated AA by a temperature-sensitive and energy-dependent kinetic mechanism with an apparent Km of 3 80 and 420 mu M, respectively. Accumulation of AA was significantly reduced in a sodium-free medium. Although high glucose concentrations reduced AA uptake by 40%, this was not affected by cytochalasin B. The RPE and retina of diabetic rats presented lower levels of AA accumulation. These findings suggest the presence of the specific vitamin C transporter SVCT in retina and RPE, which may be involved in the manifestation of diabetic retinopathy. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.