gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Influence of Hydroxyl radicals on the Ca2+-metabolism of the retinal pigment epithelium

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author L. Schlichting - Klinik und Poliklinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • O. Strauß - Klinik und Poliklinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • O. Zeitz - Klinik und Poliklinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 128

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Veröffentlicht: 22. September 2004

© 2004 Schlichting et al.
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An increased oxidative exposure of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the genesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A major damaging factor could be the disturbance of the Ca2+-homeostasis, subsequently leading to functional changes and apoptosis. This work uses cultured RPE-cells to investigate the effect of Hydroxyl radicals on the Ca2+-homeostasis.


All experiments were performed using the human RPE cell line ARPE-19. The intracellular Ca2+-content was determined by implementing the Fura 2 method. The ratio between the fluorescence intensities of 340 and 380nm is correlated to the Ca2+-concentration. The cells were incubated for 2 minutes with Hydroxyl radicals that were created via the Fenton reaction using H2O2 and Fe3+ and continuously observed for 60 minutes. The survival rate of the RPE cells is determined by using the Life-Dead-Assay from MoBiTec (Göttingen, Germany).


Immediately after radical exposure the ARPE-19 cells showed a steep transient Ca2+-increase. Afterwards the Ca2+-concentration decreased but stabilized at a permanently elevated value well above the baseline. A progressive death rate of RPE cells could be detected with the Life-Dead-Assay between 1 to 6 hours after radical exposure. Addition of 10mM Ascorbic acid inhibited the increase of the radical induced intracellular Ca2+-concentration.


Oxidative exposure of cultured RPE cells leads to an intracellular Ca2+ overload. The delayed cell death after radical exposure is rather caused by a selective damage to the Ca2+-homeostasis then by some unspecified destruction of the cell membrane. Changes in intracellular Ca2+-levels could lead to cellular dysfunctions because Ca2+ is a strong apoptosis factor as well as an important second messenger.