Cemtirestat, an aldose reductase inhibitor and antioxidant compound, induces ocular defense against oxidative and inflammatory stress in rat models for glycotoxicity

Reyhanifar T., Şahin M., Stefek M., CEYLAN A. C., KARASU Ç.

Cell Biochemistry and Function, vol.41, no.6, pp.622-632, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/cbf.3818
  • Journal Name: Cell Biochemistry and Function
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.622-632
  • Keywords: aldose reductase, cemtirestat, diabetes mellitus, epelrastat, eye, oxidative stress, retinopathy, stobadine
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Fructose, endogenously produced as a consequence of activation of the polyol pathway under hyperglycemic conditions, contribute to formation of advanced glycoxidation end products (AGEs) and carbonyl stress. Oxidative stress is increased in diabetes (DM) due to AGEs formation and the utilization of NADPH by aldo-keto reductase, AKR1B1(AR), the first enzyme in polyol pathway. Since inhibition of AR is an attractive approach for the management of diabetic eye diseases, we aimed to compare the effects of a novel AR inhibitor (ARI)/antioxidant (AO) compound cemtirestat on eye tissues with the effects of ARI drug epalrestat and AO agent stobadine in rat model for glycotoxicity. One group of rats was fed high fructose (10% drinking water; 14 weeks), while type-2 DM was induced in the other group of rats with fructose plus streptozotocin (40 mg/kg/bw). Diabetic (D) and nondiabetic fructose-fed rats (F) were either untreated or treated with two different doses of cemtirestat (2.5/7.5 mg/g/bw), epalrestat (25/50 mg/kg/bw), or stobadine (25/50 mg/kg/bw) for 14 weeks. Cemtirestat, epalrestat, and stobadine elaviate the increase in TNF-α, IL-1β, NF-ƙB, and caspase-3 in retina, lens, cornea, and sclera of F and D rats. Both glycotoxicity models resulted in a decrease in GSH to GSSG ratio and a change in glutathione S-transferase activity in eye tissues, but these alterations were improved especially with cemtirestat and stobadine. Lens D-sorbitol of D rats increased more than that of F rats, this increase was only attenuated by cemtirestat and epalrestat. Epalrestat was more effective than cemtirestat and stobadine in inhibiting the increase of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina of F and D rats. Cemtirestat and stobadine but not epalrestat decreased high level of Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine in the lens and retina of F and D rats. Cemtirestat is a potential therapeutic in protecting the rat eye against glycotoxicity insults.