Antidiabetic drug metformin suppresses endotoxin-induced uveitis in rats

Nilesh M. Kalariya, Mohammad Shoeb, Naseem H. Ansari, Satish K. Srivastava, Kota V. Ramana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To investigate the therapeutic effects of metformin, a commonly used antidiabetic drug, in preventing endotoxininduced uveitis (EIU) in rats. METHODS. EIU in Lewis rats was developed by subcutaneous injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 150 μg). Metformin (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) or its carrier was injected either 12 hours before or 2 hours after LPS induction. Three and 24 hours after EIU, eyes were enucleated and aqueous humor (AqH) was collected. The MILLIPLEX-MAG Rat cytokine-chemokine magnetic bead array was used to determine inflammatory cytokines. The expression of Cox-2, phosphorylation of AMPK, and NF-κB (p65) were determined immunohistochemically. Primary human nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells (HNPECs) were used to determine the in vitro efficacy of metformin. RESULTS. Compared with controls, the EIU rat AqH had significantly increased number of infiltrating cells and increased levels of various cytokines and chemokines (TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-1β, MIP-1α, IL-6, Leptin, and IL-18) and metformin significantly prevented the increase. Metformin also prevented the expression of Cox-2 and phosphorylation of p65, and increased the activation of AMPK in the ciliary bodies and retinal tissues. Moreover, metformin prevented the expression of Cox-2, iNOS, and activation of NF-kB in the HNPECs and decreased the levels of NO and PGE2 in cell culture media. CONCLUSIONS. Our results for the first time demonstrate a novel role of the antidiabetic drug, metformin, in suppressing uveitis in rats and suggest that this drug could be developed to prevent uveitis complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3431-3440
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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