Caffeic acid phenylethyl ester (CAPE) is an antioxidative agent originally derived from propolis. Oxidative stress is a significant pathogenic factor in most retinal diseases. Our previous study revealed that CAPE suppresses mitochondrial ROS production in ARPE−19 cells by regulating UCP2. The present study explores the ability of CAPE to provide longer-term protection to RPE cells and the underlying signal pathways involved. ARPE−19 cells were given CAPE pretreatment followed by t-BHP stimulation. We used in situ live cell staining with CellROX and MitoSOX to measure ROS accumulation; Annexin V-FITC/PI assay to evaluate cell apoptosis; ZO−1 immunostaining to observe tight junction integrity in the cells; RNA-seq to analyze changes in gene expression; q-PCR to validate the RNA-seq data; and Western Blot to examine MAPK signal pathway activation. CAPE significantly reduced both cellular and mitochondria ROS overproduction, restored the loss of ZO−1 expression, and inhibited apoptosis induced by t-BHP stimulation. We also demonstrated that CAPE reverses the overexpression of immediate early genes (IEGs) and activation of the p38-MAPK/CREB signal pathway. Either genetic or chemical deletion of UCP2 largely abolished the protective effects of CAPE. CAPE restrained ROS generation and preserved the tight junction structure of ARPE−19 cells against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. These effects were mediated via UCP2 regulation of p38/MAPK-CREB-IEGs pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry