Diabetic retinopathy is a slow progressing complication of diabetes mellitus with multifactorial aetiology affecting approximately 80% of diabetics worldwide. Chronic hyperglycemic milieu of Diabetes induces biochemical changes which contribute to the pathogenesis of Diabetic retinopathy.
The present study examined the protective effect of Vasant Kusumakar Ras, an Ayurvedic herbo-mineral formulation, in diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes was induced in rats by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (45 mg/kg). Rats were kept without any treatment for period of three weeks for induction of Diabetic retinopathy followed by treatment with Vasant Kusumakar Ras (11.25 mg/kg, p.o) for further 5 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels, lipid profile and HbA1c were determined. Eye tissue homogenates were subjected to biochemical analysis to determine the levels of oxidative stress parameters (superoxide dismutase, catalase, reduced glutathione, lipid peroxidation), vascular endothelial growth factor and aldose reductase activity. Histopathological analysis of retinal tissue was conducted using Hematoxylin and Eosin staining.
Vasant Kusumakar Ras treatment restored serum lipid profile which was altered in diabetic rats. Treatment with Vasant Kusumakar Ras significantly ameliorated the oxidative stress in eye tissue resulting in decreased lipid peroxidation and increase in endogenous antioxidant levels. Levels of aldose reductase and vascular endothelial growth factor in eye tissue were significantly decreased in Vasant Kusumakar Ras treated rats. Hematoxylin and Eosin staining indicated that the Vasant Kusumakar Ras treatment significantly restored the normal architecture of the retinal tissue.
Vasant Kusumakar Ras exhibits protective effect and prevents the development of Diabetic retinopathy through its effects on multiple biochemical pathways implicated in pathogenesis of Diabetic retinopathy.

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