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  1. Agarwal R, Agarwal P
    Indian J Ophthalmol, 2012 Jul;60(4):255-61.
    PMID: 22824592 DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.98700
    Glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease, is currently being treated by modulation of one of its primary risk factors, the elevated intraocular pressure. Newer therapies that can provide direct neuroprotection to retinal ganglion cells are being extensively investigated. Tumor necrosis factor-α, a cytokine, has been recognized to play an important role in pro and antiapoptotic cellular events. In this paper we review the relevant literature to understand (1) The association of increased expression of tumor necrosis factor-α with glaucomatous neurodegeneraion, (2) Modulation of tumor necrosis factor-α expression by exposure to various risk factors of glaucoma, (3) Downstream cellular signaling mechanisms following interaction of tumor necrosis factor-α with its receptors and (4) Role of tumor necrosis factor-α as a possible target for therapeutic intervention in glaucoma. Literature was reviewed using PubMed search engine with relevant key words and a total of 82 English language papers published from 1990 to 2010 are included in this review.
    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  2. 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.
    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  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.

    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism*
  4. 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.
    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  5. 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.

    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism
  6. Li HB, You QS, Xu LX, Sun LX, Abdul Majid AS, Xia XB, et al.
    Cell. Physiol. Biochem., 2017;43(5):2117-2132.
    PMID: 29065394 DOI: 10.1159/000484231
    BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of long non-coding RNA-MALAT1 (LncRNA-MALAT1) on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) apoptosis mediated by the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in rats with glaucoma.

    METHODS: RGCs were isolated and cultured, and monoclonal antibodies (anti-rat Thy-1, Brn3a and RBPMS) were examined by immunocytochemistry. An overexpression vector MALAT1-RNA activation (RNAa), gene knockout vector MALAT1-RNA interference (RNAi), and control vector MALAT1-negative control (NC) were constructed. A chronic high intraocular pressure (IOP) rat model of glaucoma was established by episcleral vein cauterization. The RGCs were divided into the RGC control, RGC pressure, RGC pressure + MALAT1-NC, RGC pressure + MALAT1-RNAi and RGC pressure + MALAT1-RNAa groups. Sixty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into the normal, high IOP, high IOP + MALAT1-NC, high IOP + MALAT1-RNAa and high IOP + MALAT1-RNAi groups. qRT-PCR and western blotting were used to detect the expression levels of LncRNA-MALAT1 and PI3K/Akt. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and flow cytometry were used to detect RGC apoptosis.

    RESULTS: Immunocytochemistry revealed that the cultured RGCs reached 90% purity. Compared with the RGC pressure + MALAT1-NC group, the RGC pressure + MALAT1-RNAa group exhibited elevated expression levels of MALAT1, lower total protein levels of PI3K and Akt and decreased RGC apoptosis, while these expression levels were reversed in the RGC pressure + MALAT1-RNAi group. RGC numbers and PI3K/Akt expression levels in the high IOP model groups were lower than those in the normal group. In the high IOP + MALAT1-RNAa group, the mRNA and protein expression levels of PI3K/Akt were reduced but higher than those in the other three high IOP model groups. Additionally, RGC numbers in the high IOP + MALAT1-RNAa group were lower than those in the normal group but higher than those in the other three high IOP model groups.

    CONCLUSION: Our study provides evidence that LncRNA-MALAT1 could inhibit RGC apoptosis in glaucoma through activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

    Matched MeSH terms: Retinal Ganglion Cells/metabolism*
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