Glutamate toxicity has been implicated in various retinal diseases. Green tea leaf extract catechin has protective effects against cellular toxicity. This study investigated the effects of catechin on the glutamate-treated retina. Porcine retinal homogenates were incubated with glutamate (20 nmol) at 37 °C for 60 min. Catechin was co-incubated with the glutamate-treated retina in the same condition. The malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were determined as an index of lipid peroxidation (LPO). Differential protein expressions were derived from two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Mass spectrometry was conducted to identify the proteins. Glutamate increased the retinal MDA (p < 0.0001) and catechin reversed the effect (p < 0.0001). There were significant changes in seven proteins after the glutamate treatment (p < 0.05), namely, heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein, thioredoxin peroxidase, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor, pyruvate dehydrogenase, ARHA protein, peroxiredoxin 6 and proteasome. Catechin significantly reversed the changes in thioredoxin peroxidase, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor, peroxiredoxin 6 and pyruvate dehydrogenase (p < 0.05). Our study shows that (a) retinal glutamate toxicity is mediated by LPO and protein modification, and (b) catechin ameliorates the toxicity.
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