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Methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate protects retina in a mouse model of acute ocular hypertension through multiple pathways.

Bao, Yiqin; Liu, Feng; Liu, Xiaobin; Huang, Mi; He, Liumin; Ramakrishna, Seeram; Luo, Huanmin; Hu, Huiling; Li, Hongying; Xu, Ying.
Exp Eye Res; 181: 15-24, 2019 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30633922
Methyl 3,4 dihydroxybenzoate (MDHB) is a small molecule that shows neuroprotective effects in vitro and in a photoreceptor-degenerative mouse model. Here we investigated whether MDHB protects retina in a mouse model of acute ocular hypertension (AOH) and explores the underlying mechanisms. AOH was induced in mice by increasing intraocular pressure to approximately 90 mmHg for 60 min, then MDHB or vehicle was intraperitoneally injected daily up to 7 days. Immunostaining and multi-electrode array recordings were performed to examine the structure and function of retinas receiving the treatments. Western-blotting was applied to test the expression of several proteins related to oxidative stress and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-initiated signaling. Results showed that AOH injury reduced the number of Brn3a-stained retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and ChAT-amacrine cells; thinned the inner retinal layers and induced apoptosis. Physiologically, AOH decreased the response of OFF and ON-OFF RGCs. All of these changes were reversed by MDHB-treatment. Mechanistically, MDHB appeared to work on three parallel pathways: (1) MDHB decreased the production of reactive oxygen species, the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and cytosol heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1); (2) It upregulated the expression of BDNF and its receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), and activated the downstream AKT pathways; (3) It inhibited reactive gliosis by reducing GFAP and Iba-1 expression. Thus our results suggest that MDHB protects retina against AOH injury by inhibiting oxidative stress, activating the BDNF/AKT signaling and inhibiting inflammatory pathways. Therefore, MDHB may serve as a promising candidate to treat retinal ischemia.
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