Article ID: EJ19-0521
Oxidative stress and adipogenesis play key roles in the pathogenesis of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO). In this study, the therapeutic effects of caffeine on the reduction of oxidative stress and adipogenesis were evaluated in primary cultured GO orbital fibroblasts in vitro. Orbital fibroblasts were cultured from orbital connective tissues obtained from individuals with GO. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels induced by hydrogen peroxide or cigarette smoke extract and the expression of anti-oxidative enzymes were measured after caffeine treatment. After adipogenic differentiation and caffeine treatment, cells were stained with Oil Red O and the levels of peroxisome proliferator activator γ (PPARγ), C/EBPα, and C/EBPβ were determined by western blot analysis. Hydrogen peroxide and cigarette smoke extract increased the levels of intracellular ROS and anti-oxidative enzymes, which decreased in a dose-dependent manner upon pretreatment with caffeine in GO orbital fibroblasts. Oil Red-O staining results revealed a decrease in lipid droplets; furthermore, PPARγ, C/EBPα, and C/EBPβ protein expression levels were inhibited upon treatment with caffeine during adipocyte differentiation. In conclusion, caffeine decreased oxidative stress and adipogenesis in GO orbital fibroblasts in vitro. These findings may contribute to the development of new types of caffeine-containing pharmacological agents for use in the management of GO.