Modulation of the rod outer segment aerobic metabolism diminishes the production of radicals due to light absorption

Daniela Calzia, Paolo Degan, Federico Caicci, Maurizio Bruschi, Lucia Manni, Luca A. Ramenghi, Giovanni Candiano, Carlo Enrico Traverso, Isabella Panfoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


© 2018 Oxidative stress is a primary risk factor for both inflammatory and degenerative retinopathies. Our previous data on blue light-irradiated retinas demonstrated an oxidative stress higher in the rod outer segment (OS) than in the inner limb, leading to impairment of the rod OS extra-mitochondrial aerobic metabolism. Here the oxidative metabolism and Reactive Oxygen Intermediates (ROI) production was evaluated in purified bovine rod OS in function of exposure to different illumination conditions. A dose response was observed to varying light intensities and duration in terms of both ROI production and ATP synthesis. Pretreatment with resveratrol, inhibitor of F 1 F o -ATP synthase, or metformin, inhibitor of the respiratory complex I, significantly diminished the ROI production. Metformin also diminished the rod OS Complex I activity and reduced the maximal OS response to light in ATP production. Data show for the first time the relationship existing in the rod OS between its -aerobic- metabolism, light absorption, and ROI production. A beneficial effect was exerted by metformin and resveratrol, in modulating the ROI production in the illuminated rod OS, suggestive of their beneficial action also in vivo. Data shed new light on preventative interventions for cone loss secondary to rod damage due to oxidative stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • ATP synthase
  • Diabetic dim light
  • Light
  • Metformin
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive oxygen intermediates
  • Resveratrol
  • Rod outer segment


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