Protective effect of puerarin on diabetic retinopathy in rats

  • Yan Teng
  • Hao Cui
  • Mingming Yang
  • Han Song
  • Qingsheng Zhang
  • Ying Su
  • Jianqiu Zheng


Puerarin is a major active ingredient extracted from the traditional Chinese medicine Ge-gen. The purpose of this study is to investigate the protective effect of puerarin on diabetic retinopathy (DR) and its mechanisms in rats. Seventy-two male Wistar rats were selected and divided at random into three main groups: control group, streptozotocin (STZ) group and puerarin + STZ group. Retinal histopathological observation and electron microscopic examination were performed; retinal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1α) gene expressions were examined by Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Results showed that the DR induced by STZ was significantly reduced by the treatment of puerarin as judged by the reduction of morphological changes of inner nuclear layer and outer nuclear layer at any time-point. Puerarin regulates expressions of VEGF and HIF-1α stimulated by STZ. It was concluded that puerarin exerts significant protective effects against DR in rats, likely regulating angiogenesis factors expressions, and thus may be an effective and promising medicine for treatment of DR.


Diabetic retinopathy Vascular growth factor Puerarin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Teng
    • 1
  • Hao Cui
    • 1
  • Mingming Yang
    • 1
  • Han Song
    • 2
  • Qingsheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Ying Su
    • 1
  • Jianqiu Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Ophthalmology HospitalThe First Clinical College of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyHeilongjiang Province HospitalHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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