Oxidative Stress Induces Senescence in Cultured RPE Cells

Nona Aryan, Brandi S. Betts-Obregon, George Perry, Andrew T. Tsin*
Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, 78249, USA

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© Aryan et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249, USA; Tel: +210-458-5480, Fax: +210-458-4472; E-mail:


The aim of this research is to determine whether oxidative stress induces cellular senescence in human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Cultured ARPE19 cells were subjected to different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to induce oxidative stress. Cells were seeded into 24-well plates with hydrogen peroxide added to cell medium and incubated at 37°C + 5% CO2 for a 90-minute period [at 0, 300, 400 and 800 micromolar (MCM) hydrogen peroxide]. The number of viable ARPE19 cells were recorded using the Trypan Blue Dye Exclusion Method and cell senescence was measured by positive staining for senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-beta-Gal) protein. Without hydrogen peroxide treatment, the number of viable ARPE19 cells increased significantly from 50,000 cells/well to 197,000 within 72 hours. Treatment with hydrogen peroxide reduced this level of cell proliferation significantly (to 52,167 cells at 400 MCM; to 49,263 cells at 800 MCM). Meanwhile, cells with a high level of positive senescence-indicator SA-Beta-Gal-positive staining was induced by hydrogen peroxide treatment (from a baseline level of 12% to 80% at 400 MCM and at 800 MCM). Our data suggests that oxidative stress from hydrogen peroxide treatment inhibited ARPE19 cell proliferation and induced cellular senescence.

Keywords: ARPE-19 cells, Cellular senescence, Oxidative stress, SA-beta-Gal.