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Neurological Disorders - Ophthalmology - Pharmacology

Inhibition of Reactive Gliosis Prevents Neovascular Growth in the Mouse Model of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy
Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011
Author: Michael DeNiro et al.

by Michael DeNiro, Falah H. Al-Mohanna, Futwan A. Al-Mohanna

Retinal neovascularization (NV) is a major cause of blindness in ischemic retinopathies. Previous investigations have indicated that ischemia upregulates GFAP and PDGF-B expression. GFAP overexpression is a hallmark of reactive gliosis (RG), which is the major pathophysiological feature of retinal damage. In addition, PDGF-B has been implicated in proliferative retinopathies. It was the aim of this study to gain insights on the possible pharmacological interventions to modulate PDGF-B and GFAP expression, and its influence on RG and NV. We used an array of assays to evaluate the effects of YC-1, a small molecule inhibitor of HIF-1 and a novel NO-independent activator of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), on RG and NV, in vivo and in vitro. When compared to the DMSO-treated retinas, dual-intravitreal injections of YC-1, in vivo: (1) suppressed the development and elongation of neovascular sprouts in the retinas of the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model; and (2) reduced ischemia-induced overexpression of GFAP and PDGF-B at the message (by 64.14±0.5% and 70.27±0.04%) and the protein levels (by 65.52±0.02% and 57.59±0.01%), respectively. In addition, at 100 µM, YC-1 treatment downregulated the hypoxia-induced overexpression of GFAP and PDGF-B at the message level in rMC-1 cells (by 71.42±0.02% and 75±0.03%), and R28 cells (by 58.62±0.02% and 50.00±0.02%), respectively; whereas, the protein levels of GFAP and PDGF-B were reduced (by 78.57±0.02% and 77.55±0.01%) in rMC-1cells, and (by 81.44±0.02% and 79.16±0.01%) in R28 cells, respectively. We demonstrate that YC-1 reversed RG during ischemic retinopathy via impairing the expression of GFAP and PDGF-B in glial cells. This is the first investigation that delves into the reversal of RG during ischemic retinal vasculopathies. In addition, the study reveals that YC-1 may exert promising therapeutic effects in the treatment of retinal and neuronal pathologies.