Nutritional Supplement Of Phytochemical In Prevention Of AMD
The efficacy of known potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative botanical compounds such as, curcumin, sulforaphane, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) will be tested in animal models of retinal degeneration. The protective effect of these compounds on cell death will also be tested in cultured retina-derived cells. The mechanism of action of these compounds in retinal protection will be determined. As age-related macular degeneration (AMD) develops from oxidative-stress and chronic inflammation, we hope to find a promising compound that can be tested further in pre-clinical and clinical trials.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease associated with age. It is therefore extremely challenging to develop effective therapies against AMD. Research has identified that oxidative stress and inflammation are integral to the cause, development and effects of AMD. Nutritional supplementation of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative compounds holds promises for the least costly and most practical way to delay the onset of AMD and thus protect vision. We have, therefore, selected three botanical compounds which have been in human consumption for hundreds of years as traditional medicines and have been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. As the compounds are plant-derived and non-toxic at fairly high doses, discovering their role in retinal protection will pave the way for clinical trial of a promising compound for augmentative therapy of AMD.
In this project, we will:
1) determine the protective role of curcumin (from Turmeric), sulforaphane (from Broccoli), and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (from Honeybee propolis) in acute and chronic models of light-induced retinal degeneration in rats; and
2) determine the mechanism(s) of curcumin-, sulforaphane-, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester-mediated protection of retina from light-induced damage, and retinal cell lines (661W, ARPE-19) from oxidant-induced damage.
This project will open up new directions for testing the efficacy of other derivatives of these compounds or other promising compounds which may provide better protection from AMD when supplied through diet.