Indexed on: 20 Mar '12Published on: 20 Mar '12Published in: Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology
Osmotic and oxidative stress have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic cataract. Nigerloxin, a fungal metabolite, has been shown to possess aldose reductase inhibitory and free radical scavenging potential, in vitro. In the present study, the beneficial influence of nigerloxin was investigated on diabetes-induced alteration in the eye lens of rats treated with streptozotocin. Groups of diabetic rats were administered nigerloxin orally (100 mg·(kg body mass)(-1)·day(-1)) for 30 days. The activity of lens polyol pathway enzymes (aldose reductase and sorbitol dehydrogenase), lipid peroxides, and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) were increased in the diabetic animals. Levels of glutathione as well as the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase) were decreased in the eye lens of the diabetic animals. The administration of nigerloxin significantly decreased levels of lipid peroxides and AGEs in the lens of the diabetic rats. Increase in the activity of aldose reductase and sorbitol dehydrogenase in the lens was countered by nigerloxin treatment. The activity of glutathione and antioxidant enzyme in the lens was significantly elevated in nigerloxin-treated diabetic rats. Examination of the treated rats' eyes indicated that nigerloxin delayed cataractogenesis in the diabetic rats. The results suggest the beneficial countering of polyol pathway enzymes and potentiation of the antioxidant defense system by nigerloxin in diabetic animals, implicating its potential in ameliorating cataracts in diabetics.