Tauroursodeoxycholic acid protects retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative injury and endoplasmic reticulum stress in vitro

Reem Hasaballah Alhasani*, Mohammad Almarhoun*, Xinzhi Zhou*, James Reilly*, Steven Patterson*, Zhihong Zeng*, Xinhua Shu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Retinal degeneration is characterized by the dysfunction of retinal cells. Oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of retinal degeneration. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) has been demonstrated to have protective effects in in vitro and in vivo retinal degeneration models. To fully understand the molecular mechanisms of TUDCA’s protection, we first treated human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, ARPE-19, with H2O2 or H2O2 plus TUDCA for 24 h. RPE cells co-exposed to TUDCA had higher cell viability and lower cell death rate compared to cells exposed to H2O2 alone. TUDCA significantly increased antioxidant capacity in H2O2-treated RPE cells by decreasing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Malondialdehyde (MDA), upregulating the expression of antioxidant genes, and increasing the generation of glutathione (GSH). TUDCA also inhibited inflammation in H2O2-challenged RPE cells by decreasing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, TUDCA suppressed thapsigargin-induced ER stress in RPE cells, as demonstrated by decreased the expression of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) and apoptosis. Our present study suggests that TUDCA can protect RPE cells against oxidative damage, inflammation, and ER stress and may benefit patients with retinal degeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number367
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020


  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protection
  • Retinal pigment epithelial cell
  • Tauroursodeoxycholic acid


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