L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid attenuates oxidative stress and inflammation in retinal pigment epithelium

Wanwisa Promsote, Rajalakshmi Veeranan-Karmegam, Sudha Ananth, Defen Shen, Chi Chao Chan, Nevin A. Lambert, Vadivel Ganapathy, Pamela M. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Oxidant- and inflammation-induced damage to retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is central to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, developing novel strategies to protect these cells is important. We reported previously on the robust antioxidant and therefore cell-protective effects of the cysteine pro-drug L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (OTC) in cultured human RPE cells. New reports citing a novel anti-inflammatory role for OTC in addition to the known glutathione-stimulating and antioxidant properties emerged recently; however, this role has not been evaluated in RPE cells or in intact retina. Given the crucial causative roles of oxidative stress and inflammation in AMD pathogenesis, knowing whether OTC might exhibit a similar benefit in this cell and tissue type has high clinical relevance; thus, we evaluated OTC in the present study. Methods: ARPE-19 and primary RPE cells isolated from wild-type, Gpr109a-/-, or Slc5a8-/- mouse eyes were exposed to TNF-α in the presence or absence of OTC, followed by analysis of IL-6 and Ccl2 expression with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cellular and molecular markers of inflammation and oxidative stress (i.e., IL-1β, TGF-β, ABCG1, ABCA1, reduced glutathione, and dihydroethidium) were evaluated in Ccl2-/-/Cx3cr1-/- double knockout mice on rd8 background (DKO rd8) treated with OTC (10 mg/ml) in drinking water for a period of 5 months. Results: OTC treatment significantly inhibited the expression and secretion of IL-6 and Ccl2 in TNF-α-stimulated ARPE-19 cells. Studies conducted using DKO rd8 animals treated with OTC in drinking water confirmed these findings. Cellular and molecular markers of inflammation were significantly suppressed in the retinas of the OTC-treated DKO rd8 animals. Subsequent in vitro and in vivo studies of the possible mechanism(s) to explain these actions revealed that although OTC is an agonist of the anti-inflammatory G-protein coupled receptor GPR109A and a transportable substrate of the sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporter SMCT1 (SLC5A8), these properties may play a role but do not explain entirely the anti-inflammatory effects this compound elicits in cultured RPE cells and the intact mouse retina. Conclusions: This study represents, to our knowledge, the first report of the suppressive effects of OTC on inflammation in cultured RPE cells and on inflammation and oxidative stress in the retina in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Vision
StatePublished - Jan 7 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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