Soluble P-selectin promotes retinal ganglion cell survival through activation of Nrf2 signaling after ischemia injury.
ABSTRACT: Retinal ischemic injuries play an important role in the pathogenesis of several eye disorders. Inflammation and oxidative stress are key players in ischemic injuries. Following retinal ischemia, vascular endothelial cells and leukocytes express several inflammatory adhesion receptors, such as selectins and cell adhesion molecules. P-selectin stimulates leukocyte recruitment to platelet aggregates and has an important role in vascular homeostasis and inflammatory leukocyte extravasation. Soluble P-selectin can be neuroprotective through competitive binding to the receptors of endogenous P-selectin molecules. Here, we demonstrate the neuroprotective effect of a recombinant P-selectin immunoglobin G (P-sel-IgG) chimeric fusion protein in a rat anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION) model. rAION was induced by photodynamic therapy. P-sel-IgG treatment reduced optic nerve edema and stabilized the blood-optic nerve barrier (BONB) in the acute phase of rAION. Further, P-sel-IgG increased the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival rate, reduced RGC apoptosis, preserved visual function, maintained retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, and reduced macrophage infiltration in optic nerve tissue in the chronic phase (day 28). Increased NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) and heme oxygenase 1(HO-1) expression levels, along with increased transcription factor Nrf2, suggesting an antioxidant role of P-sel-IgG via the Nrf2 signaling pathway. In conclusion, this study is the first to demonstrate that P-sel-IgG treatment promotes RGC survival by stabilizing the BONB and activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway in a rAION model.
Project description:Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) causes a sudden loss of vision and lacks effective treatment. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) provides neuroprotection against the experimental optic nerve injuries but also induce leukocytosis upon typical administration. We found synergetic neuroprotective effects of meloxicam and low dose G-CSF without leukocytosis in a rat model of anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION). The WBC counts in the low-dose G-CSF-plus meloxicam-treated group were similar to the sham-operated group. Combination treatment of low-dose G-CSF plus meloxicam preserved RGCs survival and visual function, reduced RGC apoptosis and the macrophages infiltration, and promote more M2 phenotype of macrophage/microglial transition than the low-dose GCSF treatment or the meloxicam treatment. Moreover, the combination treatment induced higher serine/threonine kinase 1 (Akt1) expression. The combination treatment of low-dose G-CSF plus meloxicam lessened the leukocytotic side effect and provided neuroprotective effects via Akt1 activation in the rAION model. This approach provides crucial preclinical information for the development of alternative therapy in AION.
Project description:Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects more than 1.7 million Americans each year and about 30% of TBI-patients having visual impairments. The loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) in the retina and axonal degeneration in the optic nerve have been attributed to vision impairment following TBI; however, the molecular mechanism has not been elucidated. Here we have shown that an increase in histone di-methylation at lysine 9 residue (H3K9Me2), synthesized by the catalytic activity of a histone methyltransferase, G9a is responsible for RGC loss and axonal degeneration in the optic nerve following TBI. To elucidate the molecular mechanism, we found that an increase in H3K9Me2 results in the induction of oxidative stress both in the RGC and optic nerve by decreasing the mRNA level of antioxidants such as Superoxide dismutase (sod) and catalase through impairing the transcriptional activity of Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) via direct interaction. The induction of oxidative stress is associated with death in RGC and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). The death in OPCs is correlated with a reduction in myelination, and the expression of myelin binding protein (MBP) in association with degeneration of neurofilaments in the optic nerve. This event allied to an impairment of the retrograde transport of axons and loss of nerve fiber layer in the optic nerve following TBI. An administration of G9a inhibitor, UNC0638 attenuates the induction of H3K9Me2 both in RGC and optic nerve and subsequently activates Nrf2 to reduce oxidative stress. This event was concomitant with the rescue in the loss of retinal thickness, attenuation in optic nerve degeneration and improvement in the retrograde transport of axons following TBI.
Project description:Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss after optic nerve damage is a hallmark of certain human ophthalmic diseases including ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) and glaucoma. In a rat model of optic nerve transection, in which 80% of RGCs are eliminated within 14 days, caspase-2 was found to be expressed and cleaved (activated) predominantly in RGC. Inhibition of caspase-2 expression by a chemically modified synthetic short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) delivered by intravitreal administration significantly enhanced RGC survival over a period of at least 30 days. This exogenously delivered siRNA could be found in RGC and other types of retinal cells, persisted inside the retina for at least 1 month and mediated sequence-specific RNA interference without inducing an interferon response. Our results indicate that RGC apoptosis induced by optic nerve injury involves activation of caspase-2, and that synthetic siRNAs designed to inhibit expression of caspase-2 represent potential neuroprotective agents for intervention in human diseases involving RGC loss.
Project description:To determine whether the neurosteroid progesterone, shown to have protective effects in animal models of traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury, is also protective in ocular ischemia animal models.Progesterone treatment was tested in two ocular ischemia models in rats: a rodent anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION) model, which induces permanent monocular optic nerve stroke, and the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model, which causes transient ischemia in both the retina and brain due to an intraluminal filament that blocks the ophthalmic and middle cerebral arteries. Visual function and retinal histology were assessed to determine whether progesterone attenuated retinal injury in these models. Additionally, behavioral testing and 2% 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining in brains were used to compare progesterone's neuroprotective effects in both retina and brain using the MCAO model.Progesterone treatment showed no effect on visual evoked potential (VEP) reduction and retinal ganglion cell loss in the permanent rAION model. In the transient MCAO model, progesterone treatment reduced (1) electroretinogram (ERG) deficits, (2) MCAO-induced upregulation of glutamine synthetase (GS) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and (3) retinal ganglion cell loss. As expected, progesterone treatment also had significant protective effects in behavioral tests and a reduction in infarct size in the brain.Progesterone treatment showed protective effects in the retina following MCAO but not rAION injury, which may result from mechanistic differences with injury type and the therapeutic action of progesterone.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has been shown to be involved in both neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a MAPK important in retinal development and after optic nerve crush injury, is regulated by two upstream kinases: MKK4 and MKK7. The specific requirements of MKK4 and MKK7 in retinal development and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death after axonal injury, however, are currently undefined. Optic nerve injury is an important insult in many neurologic conditions including traumatic, ischemic, inflammatory, and glaucomatous optic neuropathies. Mice deficient in Mkk4, Mkk7, and both Mkk4 and Mkk7 were generated. Immunohistochemistry was used to study the distribution and structure of retinal cell types and to assess RGC survival after optic nerve injury (mechanical controlled optic nerve crush (CONC)). Adult Mkk4- and Mkk7-deficient retinas had all retinal cell types, and with the exception of small areas of disrupted photoreceptor lamination in Mkk4-deficient mice, the retinas of both mutants were grossly normal. Deficiency of Mkk4 or Mkk7 reduced JNK signaling in RGCs after axonal injury and resulted in a significantly greater percentage of surviving RGCs 35 days after CONC as compared to wild-type controls (Mkk4: 51.5%, Mkk7: 29.1%, WT: 15.2%; p?<?0.001). Combined deficiency of Mkk4 and Mkk7 caused failure of optic nerve formation, irregular retinal axonal trajectories, disruption of retinal lamination, clumping of RGC bodies, and dendritic fasciculation of dopaminergic amacrine cells. These results suggest that MKK4 and MKK7 may serve redundant and unique roles in molecular signaling important for retinal development and injury response following axonal insult.
Project description:PURPOSE:The Wlds mutation affords protection of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons in retinal ischemia and in inducible and hereditary preclinical models of glaucoma. We undertook the present study to determine whether the Nmnat1 portion of the chimeric protein provides axonal and somatic protection of RGCs in models of ischemia and glaucoma, particularly when localized to nonnuclear regions of the cell. METHODS:The survival and integrity of RGC axons and soma from transgenic mice with confirmed cytoplasmic overexpression of Nmnat1 in retina and optic nerve (cytNmnat1-Tg mice) were examined in the retina and postlaminar optic nerve 4 days following acute retinal ischemia, and 3 weeks following the chronic elevation of intraocular pressure. RESULTS:Ischemia- and glaucoma-induced disruptions of proximal segments of RGC axons that comprise the nerve fiber layer in wild-type mice were both robustly abrogated in cytNmnat1-Tg mice. More distal portions of RGC axons within the optic nerve were also protected from glaucomatous disruption in the transgenic mice. In both disease models, Nmnat1 overexpression in extranuclear locations significantly enhanced the survival of RGC soma. CONCLUSIONS:Overexpression of Nmnat1 in the cytoplasm and axons of RGCs robustly protected against both ischemic and glaucomatous loss of RGC axonal integrity, as well as loss of RGC soma. These findings reflect the more pan-cellular protection of CNS neurons that is realized by cytoplasmic Nmnat1 expression, and thus provide a therapeutic strategy for protecting against retinal neurodegeneration, and perhaps other CNS neurodegenerative diseases as well.
Project description:Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the only output neurons of the vertebrate retina, integrating signals from other retinal neurons and transmitting information to the visual centers of the brain. The death of RGCs is a common outcome in many optic neuropathies, such as glaucoma, demyelinating optic neuritis and ischemic optic neuropathy, resulting in visual defects and blindness. There are currently no therapies in clinical use which can prevent RGC death in optic neuropathies; therefore, the identification of new targets for supporting RGC survival is crucial in the development of novel treatments for eye diseases. In this study we identify that the receptor tyrosine kinase, Tyro3, is critical for normal neuronal function in the adult mouse retina. The loss of Tyro3 results in a reduction in photoreceptor and RGC function as measured using electroretinography. The reduction in RGC function was associated with a thinner retinal nerve fiber layer and fewer RGCs. In the central retina, independent of the loss of RGCs, Tyro3 deficiency resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of RGC dendrites in the inner plexiform layer. Our results show that Tyro3 has a novel, previously unidentified role in retinal function, RGC survival and RGC morphology. The Tyro3 pathway could therefore provide an alternative, targetable pathway for RGC protective therapeutics.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We investigated the therapeutic effects and related mechanisms of algae oil (ALG) to protect retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a rat model of anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (rAION). METHODS:Rats were daily gavaged with ALG after rAION induction for seven days. The therapeutic effects of ALG on rAION were evaluated using flash visual evoked potentials (FVEPs), retrograde labeling of RGCs, TUNEL assay of the retina, and ED1 staining of optic nerves (ONs). The levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), IL-1?, TNF-?, Cl-caspase-3, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and p-ERK were analyzed by using western blots. RESULTS:Protection of visual function in FVEPs amplitude was noted, with a better preservation of the P1-N2 amplitude in the ALG-treated group (p = 0.032) than in the rAION group. The density of RGCs was 2.4-fold higher in the ALG-treated group compared to that in the rAION group (p < 0.0001). The number of ED1-positive cells in ONs was significantly reduced 4.1-fold in the ALG-treated group compared to those in the rAION group (p = 0.029). The number of apoptotic RGCs was 3.2-fold lower in number in the ALG-treated group (p = 0.001) than that in the rAION group. The ALG treatment inhibited ERK activation to reduce the levels of iNOS, IL-1?, TNF-?, and Cl-caspase-3 and to increase the level of CNTF in the rAION model. CONCLUSION:The treatment with ALG after rAION induction inhibits ERK activation to provide both anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects in rAION.
Project description:The glial protein S100B, which belongs to a calcium binding protein family, is up-regulated in neurological diseases, like multiple sclerosis or glaucoma. In previous studies, S100B immunization led to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in an experimental autoimmune glaucoma (EAG) model. Now, the direct degenerative impact of S100B on the retina and optic nerve was evaluated. Therefore, 2 ?l of S100B was intravitreally injected in two concentrations (0.2 and 0.5 ?g/?l). At day 3, 14 and 21, retinal neurons, such as RGCs, amacrine and bipolar cells, as well as apoptotic mechanisms were analyzed. Furthermore, neurofilaments, myelin fibers and axons of optic nerves were evaluated. In addition, retinal function and immunoglobulin G (IgG) level in the serum were measured. At day 3, RGCs were unaffected in the S100B groups, when compared to the PBS group. Later, at days 14 and 21, the RGC number as well as the ?-III tubulin protein level was reduced in the S100B groups. Only at day 14, active apoptotic mechanisms were noted. The number of amacrine cells was first affected at day 21, while the bipolar cell amount remained comparable to the PBS group. Also, the optic nerve neurofilament structure was damaged from day 3 on. At day 14, numerous swollen axons were observed. The intraocular injection of S100B is a new model for a glaucoma like degeneration. Although the application site was the eye, the optic nerve degenerated first, already at day 3. From day 14 on, retinal damage and loss of function was noted. The RGCs in the middle part of the retina were first affected. At day 21, the damage expanded and RGCs had degenerated in all areas of the retina as well as amacrine cells. Furthermore, elevated IgG levels in the serum were measured at day 21, which could be a sign of a late and S100B independet immune response. In summary, S100B had a direct destroying impact on the axons of the optic nerve. The damage of the retinal cell bodies seems to be a consequence of this axon loss.
Project description:Optic nerve injury induces optic nerve degeneration and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death that lead to visual disturbance. In this study, we examined if topical ripasudil has therapeutic potential in adult mice after optic nerve crush (ONC). Topical ripasudil suppressed ONC-induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and ameliorated RGC death. In addition, topical ripasudil significantly suppressed the phosphorylation of collapsin response mediator protein 2 and cofilin, and promoted optic nerve regeneration. These results suggest that topical ripasudil promotes RGC protection and optic nerve regeneration by modulating multiple signaling pathways associated with neural cell death, microtubule assembly and actin polymerization.