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  1. Agarwal R, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal P, Spasov A
    Exp Eye Res, 2012 Aug;101:82-9.
    PMID: 22668657 DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2012.05.008
    Magnesium is one of the most important regulatory cation involved in several biological processes. It is important for maintaining the structural and functional integrity of vital ocular tissues such as lens. Presence of high magnesium content especially in the peripheral part of lens as compared to aqueous and vitreous humor has been observed. Magnesium plays significant role as a cofactor for more than 350 enzymes in the body especially those utilizing ATP. Membrane associated ATPase functions that are crucial in regulating the intracellular ionic environment, are magnesium-dependent. Moreover, the enzymes involved in ATP production and hydrolysis are also magnesium-dependent. Magnesium deficiency by interfering with ATPase functions causes increased intracellular calcium and sodium and decreases intracellular potassium concentration. Furthermore, magnesium deficiency is associated with increased oxidative stress secondary to increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and increased production of nitric oxide. Thus the alterations in lenticular redox status and ionic imbalances form the basis of the association of magnesium deficiency with cataract. In this paper we review the mechanisms involved in magnesium homeostasis and the role of magnesium deficiency in the pathogenesis of cataract.
  2. Kharitonova M, Iezhitsa I, Zheltova A, Ozerov A, Spasov A, Skalny A
    J Trace Elem Med Biol, 2015 Jan;29:227-34.
    PMID: 25127069 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2014.06.026
    Magnesium (Mg) deficiency is implicated in the development of numerous disorders of the cardiovascular system. Moreover, the data regarding the efficacy of different magnesium compounds in the correction of impaired functions due to low magnesium intake are often fragmentary and inconsistent. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the most bioavailable Mg compounds (Mg l-aspartate, Mg N-acetyltaurate, Mg chloride, Mg sulphate and Mg oxybutyrate) on systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in rats fed a low Mg diet for 74 days. A low Mg diet decreased the Mg concentration in the plasma and erythrocytes, which was accompanied by a reduced concentration of eNOs and increased levels of endothelin-1 level in the serum and impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. These effects increased the concentration of proinflammatory molecules, such as VCAM-1, TNF-α, IL-6 and CRP, indicating the development of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. The increased total NO level, which estimated from the sum of the nitrate and nitrite concentrations in the serum, may also be considered to be a proinflammatory marker. Two weeks of Mg supplementation partially or fully normalised the ability of the vascular wall to effect adequate endothelium-dependent vasodilatation and reversed the levels of most endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory markers (except CRP) to the mean values of the control group. Mg sulphate had the smallest effect on the endothelin-1, TNF-α and VCAM-1 levels. Mg N-acetyltaurate was significantly more effective in restoring the level of eNOS compared to all other studied compounds, except for Mg oxybutyrate. Taken together, the present findings demonstrate that all Mg compounds equally alleviate endothelial dysfunction and inflammation caused by Mg deficiency. Mg sulphate tended to be the least effective compound.
  3. Nor Arfuzir NN, Agarwal R, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal P, Sidek S, Spasov A, et al.
    Curr. Eye Res., 2018 08;43(8):1032-1040.
    PMID: 29676937 DOI: 10.1080/02713683.2018.1467933
    PURPOSE: Retinal ganglion cell apoptosis in glaucoma is associated with elevated levels of endothelin-1 (ET1), a potent vasoconstrictor. ET1-induced retinal ischemia leads to altered expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms leading to increased formation of nitric oxide (NO) and retinal nitrosative stress. Since magnesium (Mg) is known to improve endothelial functions and reduce oxidative stress and taurine (TAU) possesses potent antioxidant properties, we investigated the protective effects of magnesium acetyltaurate (MgAT) against ET1-induced nitrosative stress and retinal damage in rats. We also compared the effects of MgAT with that of TAU alone.

    METHODS: Sprague Dawley rats were intravitreally injected with ET1. MgAT and TAU were administered as pre-, co-, or posttreatment. Subsequently, the expression of NOS isoforms was detected in retina by immunohistochemistry, retinal nitrotyrosine level was estimated using ELISA, and retinal cell apoptosis was detected by TUNEL staining.

    RESULTS: Intravitreal ET1 caused a significant increase in the expressions of nNOS and iNOS while eNOS expression was significantly reduced compared to vehicle treated group. Administration of both MgAT and TAU restored the altered levels of NOS isoform expression, reduced retinal nitrosative stress and retinal cell apoptosis. The effect of MgAT, however, was greater than that of TAU alone.

    CONCLUSIONS: MgAT and TAU prevent ET1-induced retinal cell apoptosis by reducing retinal nitrosative stress in Sprague Dawley rats. Addition of TAU to Mg seems to enhance the efficacy of TAU compared to when given alone. Moreover, the pretreatment with MgAT/TAU showed higher efficacy compared to co- or posttreatment.

  4. Vassiliev P, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Marcus AJ, Spasov A, Zhukovskaya O, et al.
    Data Brief, 2018 Jun;18:340-347.
    PMID: 29896521 DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.02.067
    This article contains data that relate to the study carried out in the work of Marcus et al. (2018) [1]. Data represent an information about pharmacophore analysis of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole derivatives and results of construction of the relationship between intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering activity and hypotensive activity of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole derivatives using a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network. In particular, they include the ones listed in this article: 1) table of all pharmacophores of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole derivatives that showed IOP lowering activity; 2) table of all pharmacophores of the compounds that showed absence of IOP lowering activity; 3) table of initial data for artificial neural network analysis of relationship between IOP activity and hypotensive activity of this chemical series; 4) graphical representation of the best neural network model of this dependence; 5) original txt-file of results of pharmacophore analysis; 6) xls-file of initial data for neural network modeling; 7) original stw-file of results of neural network modeling; 8) original xml-file of the best neural network model of dependence between IOP lowering activity and hypotensive activity of these azole derivatives. The data may be useful for researchers interested in designing new drug substances and will contribute to understanding of the mechanisms of IOP lowering activity.
  5. Marcus AJ, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Vassiliev P, Spasov A, Zhukovskaya O, et al.
    Data Brief, 2018 Jun;18:523-554.
    PMID: 29896529 DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.03.019
    This data is to document the intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering activity of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole compounds in ocular normotensive rats. Effects of single drop application of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole compounds on IOP in ocular normotensive rats are presented at 3 different concentrations (0.1%, 0.2% and 0.4%). Time course of changes in IOP is presented over 6 h period post-instillation. The IOP lowering activities of test compounds were determined by assessing maximum decrease in IOP from baseline and corresponding control, duration of IOP lowering and area under curve (AUC) of time versus response curve. Data shown here may serve as benchmarks for other researchers studying IOP-lowering effect of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole and pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole compounds and would be useful in determining therapeutic potential of these test compounds as IOP lowering agents.
  6. Jafri AJA, Agarwal R, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal P, Spasov A, Ozerov A, et al.
    Mol. Vis., 2018;24:495-508.
    PMID: 30090013
    Purpose: Retinal nitrosative stress associated with altered expression of nitric oxide synthases (NOS) plays an important role in excitotoxic retinal ganglion cell loss in glaucoma. The present study evaluated the effects of magnesium acetyltaurate (MgAT) on changes induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in the retinal expression of three NOS isoforms, retinal 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) levels, and the extent of retinal cell apoptosis in rats. Effects of MgAT with taurine (TAU) alone were compared to understand the benefits of a combined salt of Mg and TAU.

    Methods: Excitotoxic retinal injury was induced with intravitreal injection of NMDA in Sprague-Dawley rats. All treatments were given as pre-, co-, and post-treatment with NMDA. Seven days post-injection, the retinas were processed for measurement of the expression of NOS isoforms using immunostaining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), retinal 3-NT content using ELISA, retinal histopathological changes using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, and retinal cell apoptosis using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining.

    Results: As observed on immunohistochemistry, the treatment with NMDA caused a 4.53-fold increase in retinal nNOS expression compared to the PBS-treated rats (p<0.001). Among the MgAT-treated groups, only the pretreatment group showed significantly lower nNOS expression than the NMDA-treated group with a 2.00-fold reduction (p<0.001). Among the TAU-treated groups, the pre- and cotreatment groups showed 1.84- and 1.71-fold reduction in nNOS expression compared to the NMDA-treated group (p<0.001), respectively, but remained higher compared to the PBS-treated group (p<0.01). Similarly, iNOS expression in the NMDA-treated group was significantly greater than that for the PBS-treated group (2.68-fold; p<0.001). All MgAT treatment groups showed significantly lower iNOS expression than the NMDA-treated groups (3.58-, 1.51-, and 1.65-folds, respectively). However, in the MgAT co- and post-treatment groups, iNOS expression was significantly greater than in the PBS-treated group (1.77- and 1.62-folds, respectively). Pretreatment with MgAT caused 1.77-fold lower iNOS expression compared to pretreatment with TAU (p<0.05). In contrast, eNOS expression was 1.63-fold higher in the PBS-treated group than in the NMDA-treated group (p<0.001). Among all treatment groups, only pretreatment with MgAT caused restoration of retinal eNOS expression with a 1.39-fold difference from the NMDA-treated group (p<0.05). eNOS expression in the MgAT pretreatment group was also 1.34-fold higher than in the TAU pretreatment group (p<0.05). The retinal NOS expression as measured with ELISA was in accordance with that estimated with immunohistochemistry. Accordingly, among the MgAT treatment groups, only the pretreated group showed 1.47-fold lower retinal 3-NT than the NMDA-treated group, and the difference was significant (p<0.001). The H&E-stained retinal sections in all treatment groups showed statistically significantly greater numbers of retinal cell nuclei than the NMDA-treated group in the inner retina. However, the ganglion cell layer thickness in the TAU pretreatment group remained 1.23-fold lower than that in the MgAT pretreatment group (p<0.05). In line with this observation, the number of apoptotic cells as observed after TUNEL staining was 1.69-fold higher after pretreatment with TAU compared to pretreatment with MgAT (p<0.01).

    Conclusions: MgAT and TAU, particularly with pretreatment, reduce retinal cell apoptosis by reducing retinal nitrosative stress. Pretreatment with MgAT caused greater improvement in NMDA-induced changes in iNOS and eNOS expression and retinal 3-NT levels than pretreatment with TAU. The greater reduction in retinal nitrosative stress after pretreatment with MgAT was associated with lower retinal cell apoptosis and greater preservation of the ganglion cell layer thickness compared to pretreatment with TAU.

  7. Marcus AJ, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Vassiliev P, Spasov A, Zhukovskaya O, et al.
    Eur J Pharmacol, 2019 May 05;850:75-87.
    PMID: 30716317 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.01.059
    Ocular hypertension is believed to be involved in the etiology of primary open-angle glaucoma. Although many pharmaceutical agents have been shown to be effective for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP), a significant opportunity to improve glaucoma treatments remains. Thus, the aims of the present study were: (1) to evaluate the IOP-lowering effect of four compounds RU-551, RU-555, RU-839 (pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole), and RU-615 (imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole) on steroid-induced ocular hypertension in rats after single drop and chronic applications; and (2) to test in silico and in vitro conventional rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitory activity of the selected compound. This study demonstrated that RU-551, RU-555, RU-839, and RU-615 significantly reduced IOP in Sprague Dawley rats with dexamethasone (DEXA) induced ocular hypertension after single drop administration (0.1%), however RU-615 showed the best IOP lowering effect as indicated by maximum IOP reduction of 22.32% from baseline. Repeated dose topical application of RU-615 caused sustained reduction of IOP from baseline throughout the 3 weeks of treatment with maximum IOP reduction of 30.31% on day 15. This study also showed that the steroid-induced increase in IOP is associated with increased retinal oxidative stress and significant retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) loss. Prolonged treatment with RU-615 over 3 weeks results in normalization of IOP in DEXA-treated rats with partial restoration of retinal antioxidant status (catalase, glutathione and superoxide dismutase) and subsequent protective effect against RGC loss. Thus, IOP lowering activity of RU-615 together with antioxidant properties might be the factors that contribute to prevention of further RGC loss. In vitro part of this study explored the ROCK inhibitory activity of RU-615 using dexamethasone-treated human trabecular meshwork cells as a possible mechanism of action of its IOP lowering activity. However, this study didn't show conventional ROCK inhibition by RU-615 which was later confirmed by in silico consensus prediction. Therefore, in the future studies it is important to identify the upstream target receptors for RU-615 and then delineate the involved intracellular signalling pathways which are likely to be other than ROCK inhibition.
  8. Marcus AJ, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Vassiliev P, Spasov A, Zhukovskaya O, et al.
    Eur J Pharm Sci, 2018 Mar 01;114:245-254.
    PMID: 29274441 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2017.12.015
    In an effort to find new ocular hypotensive drug candidates, a total of 27 condensed benzimidazoles based compounds were screened. This study was done in normotensive rats and rebound tonometry was used to estimate IOP. All compounds were topically applied as a single drop, unilaterally, at 3 different concentrations (0.1%, 0.2% and 0.4%). The contralateral eye was instilled with vehicle and served as control. The IOP reduction was measured up to 6h. It was observed that with a single topical instillation, compounds RU 551, RU 555, RU839 (pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole derivatives), and RU 615 (imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole derivative) showed significant IOP lowering activities in ocular normotensive rats. All other compounds showed none, weak and inconsistent IOP lowering effect. The relationship between ability of IOP lowering and hypotensive activities was studied. According to the pharmacophore analysis, the class of pyrimido[1,2-a]benzimidazole is more promising than the class of imidazo[1,2-a]benzimidazole as a source of compounds with high IOP lowering activity. Pharmacophore analysis also showed that the critical features of high IOP lowering activity are methoxyphenyl and [phenyl]alkyl fragments, and non-conjugated six-membered heterocyclic ring.
  9. Agarwal R, Iezhitsa I, Awaludin NA, Ahmad Fisol NF, Bakar NS, Agarwal P, et al.
    Exp Eye Res, 2013 May;110:35-43.
    PMID: 23428743 DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2013.02.011
    Cataract, a leading cause of blindness, is characterized by lenticular opacities resulting from denaturation of lens proteins due to activation of calcium-dependent enzyme, calpain. Magnesium (Mg(2+)) plays an important role not only in maintaining a low lenticular calcium (Ca(2+)) and sodium concentration but also in preserving the lens redox status. Taurine has also been shown to reduce lenticular oxidative stress. Present study evaluated the anticataract effects of magnesium taurate in vivo and in vitro. Among the five groups of 9 Sprague Dawley rats each, two groups received 30% galactose diet with topical (GDMT) or oral treatment (GDMO) with magnesium taurate. Two groups received 30% galactose diet with topical (GDT) or oral vehicle (GDO). Remaining 1 group received normal diet (ND). Weekly slit lamp examination was done during 21 days experimental period and then all rats were sacrificed; Ca/Mg ratio and antioxidant parameters including reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were measured in the isolated lenses using ELISA. In the in vitro study, 2 groups of 10 normal rat lenses were incubated in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) with galactose while 1 similar group was incubated in DMEM without galactose. In one of the groups, galactose containing medium was supplemented with magnesium taurate. After 48 h of incubation, lenses were photographed and Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio and antioxidant parameters were measured as for in vivo study. The in vivo study, at the end of experimental period, demonstrated delay in the development of cataract with a mean opacity index of 0.53 ± 0.04 and 0.51 ± 0.03 in GDMO (p < 0.05 versus GDO) and GDMT (p < 0.01 versus GDT) respectively. Histopathological grading showed a lower mean value in treated groups, however, the differences from corresponding controls were not significant. Lenticular Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio with a mean value of 1.20 ± 0.26 and 1.05 ± 0.26 in GDMO and GDMT was significantly lower than corresponding controls (p < 0.05) and in GDMT no significant difference was observed from ND. Lenticular GSH and catalase activities were significantly lower and SOD activity was significantly higher in all galactose fed groups. However, in GDMT, GSH and catalase were significantly higher than corresponding control with mean values of 0.96 ± 0.30 μmol/gm lens weight and 56.98 ± 9.86 μmol/g lens protein respectively (p < 0.05 for GSH and p < 0.01 for catalase). SOD activity with mean values of 13.05 ± 6.35 and 13.27 ± 7.61 units/mg lens protein in GDMO and GDMT respectively was significantly lower compared to corresponding controls (p < 0.05) signifying lesser upregulation of SOD due to lesser oxidative stress in treated groups. In the in vitro study, lenses incubated in magnesium taurate containing medium showed less opacity and a lower mean Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio of 1.64 ± 0.03, which was not significantly different from lenses incubated in DMEM without galactose. Lens GSH and catalase activities were restored to normal in lenses incubated in magnesium taurate containing medium. Both in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that treatment with magnesium taurate delays the onset and progression of cataract in galactose fed rats by restoring the lens Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio and lens redox status.
  10. Arfuzir NN, Lambuk L, Jafri AJ, Agarwal R, Iezhitsa I, Sidek S, et al.
    Neuroscience, 2016 06 14;325:153-64.
    PMID: 27012609 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.041
    Vascular dysregulation has long been recognized as an important pathophysiological factor underlying the development of glaucomatous neuropathy. Endothelin-1 (ET1) has been shown to be a key player due to its potent vasoconstrictive properties that result in retinal ischemia and oxidative stress leading to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) apoptosis and optic nerve (ON) damage. In this study we investigated the protective effects of magnesium acetyltaurate (MgAT) against retinal cell apoptosis and ON damage. MgAT was administered intravitreally prior to, along with or after administration of ET1. Seven days post-injection, animals were euthanized and retinae were subjected to morphometric analysis, TUNEL and caspase-3 staining. ON sections were stained with toluidine blue and were graded for neurodegenerative effects. Oxidative stress was also estimated in isolated retinae. Pre-treatment with MgAT significantly lowered ET1-induced retinal cell apoptosis as measured by retinal morphometry and TUNEL staining. This group of animals also showed significantly lesser caspase-3 activation and significantly reduced retinal oxidative stress compared to the animals that received intravitreal injection of only ET1. Additionally, the axonal degeneration in ON was markedly reduced in MgAT pretreated animals. The animals that received MgAT co- or post-treatment with ET1 also showed improvement in all parameters; however, the effects were not as significant as observed in MgAT pretreated animals. The current study showed that the intravitreal pre-treatment with MgAT reduces caspase-3 activation and prevents retinal cell apoptosis and axon loss in ON induced by ET1. This protective effect of ET1 was associated with reduced retinal oxidative stress.
  11. Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Saad SD, Zakaria FK, Agarwal P, Krasilnikova A, et al.
    Mol. Vis., 2016;22:734-47.
    PMID: 27440992
    PURPOSE: Increased lenticular oxidative stress and altered calcium/magnesium (Ca/Mg) homeostasis underlie cataractogenesis. We developed a liposomal formulation of magnesium taurate (MgT) and studied its effects on Ca/Mg homeostasis and lenticular oxidative and nitrosative stress in galactose-fed rats.

    METHODS: The galactose-fed rats were topically treated with liposomal MgT (LMgT), liposomal taurine (LTau), or corresponding vehicles twice daily for 28 days with weekly anterior segment imaging. At the end of the experimental period, the lenses were removed and subjected to analysis for oxidative and nitrosative stress, Ca and Mg levels, ATP content, Ca(2+)-ATPase, Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, and calpain II activities.

    RESULTS: The LTau and LMgT groups showed significantly lower opacity index values at all time points compared to the corresponding vehicle groups (p<0.001). However, the opacity index in the LMgT group was lower than that in the LTau group (p<0.05). Significantly reduced oxidative and nitrosative stress was observed in the LTau and LMgT groups. The lens Ca/Mg ratio in LMgT group was decreased by 1.15 times compared to that in the LVh group. Calpain II activity in the LMgT group was decreased by 13% compared to the LVh group. The ATP level and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities were significantly increased in the LMgT group compared to the LVh group (p<0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS: Topical liposomal MgT delays cataractogenesis in galactose-fed rats by maintaining the lens mineral homeostasis and reducing lenticular oxidative and nitrosative stress.

  12. Lambuk L, Jafri AJ, Arfuzir NN, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Rozali KN, et al.
    Neurotox Res, 2017 01;31(1):31-45.
    PMID: 27568334 DOI: 10.1007/s12640-016-9658-9
    Glutamate excitotoxicity plays a major role in the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in glaucoma. The toxic effects of glutamate on RGCs are mediated by the overstimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Accordingly, NMDA receptor antagonists have been suggested to inhibit excitotoxicity in RGCs and delay the progression and visual loss in glaucoma patients. The purpose of the present study was to examine the potential neuroprotective effect of Mg acetyltaurate (MgAT) on RGC death induced by NMDA. MgAT was proposed mainly due to the combination of magnesium (Mg) and taurine which may provide neuroprotection by dual mechanisms of action, i.e., inhibition of NMDA receptors and antioxidant effects. Rats were divided into 5 groups and were given intravitreal injections. Group 1 (PBS group) was injected with vehicle; group 2 (NMDA group) was injected with NMDA while groups 3 (pre-), 4 (co-), and 5 (post-) treatments were injected with MgAT, 24 h before, in combination or 24 h after NMDA injection respectively. NMDA and MgAT were injected in PBS at doses 160 and 320 nmol, respectively. Seven days after intravitreal injection, the histological changes in the retina were evaluated using hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) staining. Optic nerves were dissected and stained in Toluidine blue for grading on morphological neurodegenerative changes. The extent of apoptosis in retinal tissue was assessed by TUNEL assay and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry staining. The estimation of neurotrophic factor, oxidative stress, pro/anti-apoptotic factors and caspase-3 activity in retina was done using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The retinal morphometry showed reduced thickness of ganglion cell layer (GCL) and reduction in the number of retinal cells in GCL in NMDA group compared to the MgAT-treated groups. TUNEL and caspase-3 staining showed increased number of apoptotic cells in inner retina. The results were further corroborated by the estimation of neurotrophic factor, oxidative stress, pro/anti-apoptotic factors, and caspase-3 activity in retina. In conclusion, current study revealed that intravitreal MgAT prevents retinal and optic nerve damage induced by NMDA. Overall, our data demonstrated that the pretreatment with MgAT was more effective than co- and posttreatment. This protective effect of MgAT against NMDA-induced retinal cell apoptosis could be attributed to the reduction of retinal oxidative stress and activation of BDNF-related neuroprotective mechanisms.
  13. Jafri AJA, Arfuzir NNN, Lambuk L, Iezhitsa I, Agarwal R, Agarwal P, et al.
    J Trace Elem Med Biol, 2017 Jan;39:147-154.
    PMID: 27908408 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2016.09.005
    Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity involving N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been recognized as a final common outcome in pathological conditions involving death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Overstimulation of NMDA receptors results in influx of calcium (Ca) and sodium (Na) ions and efflux of potassium (K). NMDA receptors are blocked by magnesium (Mg). Such changes due to NMDA overstimulation are also associated with not only the altered levels of minerals but also that of trace elements and redox status. Both the decreased and elevated levels of trace elements such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) affect NMDA receptor excitability and redox status. Manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se) are also part of antioxidant defense mechanisms in retina. Additionally endogenous substances such as taurine also affect NMDA receptor activity and retinal redox status. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Mg acetyltaurate (MgAT) on the retinal mineral and trace element concentration, oxidative stress, retinal morphology and retinal cell apoptosis in rats after-NMDA exposure. One group of Sprague Dawley rats received intravitreal injection of vehicle while 4 other groups similarly received NMDA (160nmolL(-1)). Among the NMDA injected groups, 3 groups also received MgAT (320nmolL(-1)) as pre-treatment, co-treatment or post-treatment. Seven days after intravitreal injection, rats were sacrificed, eyes were enucleated and retinae were isolated for estimation of mineral (Ca, Na, K, Mg) and trace element (Mn, Cu, Fe, Se, Zn) concentration using Inductively Coupled Plasma (DRC ICP-MS) techniques (NexION 300D), retinal oxidative stress using Elisa, retinal morphology using H&E staining and retinal cell apoptosis using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Intravitreal NMDA injection resulted in increased concentration of Ca (4.6 times, p<0.0001), Mg (1.5 times, p<0.01), Na (3 times, p<0.0001) and K (2.3 times, p<0.0001) compared to vehicle injected group. This was accompanied with significant increase of Ca/Mg and Na/K ratios, 3 and 1.27 times respectively, compared to control group. The trace elements such as Cu, Fe and Zn also showed a significant increase amounting to 3.3 (p<0.001), 2.3 (p<0.0001) and 3 (p<0.0001) times respectively compared to control group. Se was increased by 60% (p<0.005). Pre-treatment with MgAT abolished effect of NMDA on minerals and trace elements more effectively than co- and post-treatment. Similar observations were made for retinal oxidative stress, retinal morphology and retinal cell apoptosis. In conclusion, current study demonstrated the protective effect of MgAT against NMDA-induced oxidative stress and retinal cell apoptosis. This effect of MgAT was associated with restoration of retinal concentrations of minerals and trace elements. Further studies are warranted to explore the precise molecular targets of MgAT. Nevertheless, MgAT seems a potential candidate in the management of diseases involving NMDA-induced excitotoxicity.
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