Citicoline and lithium rescue retinal ganglion cells following partial optic nerve crush in the rat

Department of Pathophysiology of Vision and Neuro-Ophthalmology, University Eye Hospital, Röntgenweg 11, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
Experimental Eye Research (Impact Factor: 2.71). 12/2006; 83(5):1128-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2006.05.021
Source: PubMed


Citicoline and lithium (Li(-)) have been shown to support retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and axon regeneration in vitro. Optic nerve crush (ONC) is a model of both brain axonal injury and certain aspects of the glaucomatous degeneration of RGC. We have used this model to quantify protection offered to RGC by these drugs and to determine whether their effects are mediated by enhanced expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. Adult rats (6-12 per group) were subjected to ONC accompanied by a contralateral sham operation. Animals were treated intraperitoneally with either vehicle, citicoline sodium (1g/kg daily for up to 7 days and 300 mg/kg daily afterwards), lithium chloride (30 mg/kg daily), or both drugs combined. Fluorogold was injected bilaterally into superior colliculi 1, 5 or 19 days after ONC. Labeled cells were counted under a fluorescence microscope 2 days after tracer injection. In a separate set of experiments the effects of treatments on expression of Bcl-2 in retinas were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. In vehicle-treated animals there was a progressive decrease of RGC density after crush. This decrease was attenuated in citicoline-treated animals 1 week and 3 weeks after the crush. In the lithium-treated group protection was even more pronounced. In animals treated with both drugs RGC protection was similar to that achieved by lithium alone. Bcl-2 immunoreactivity was seen predominantly in retinal ganglion cells. Its increase was recorded in the lithium and citicoline group as well as in animals treated with the combination of both drugs. Both citicoline and lithium protect RGC and their axons in vivo against delayed degeneration triggered by the ONC. Retinoprotective action of both drugs may involve an increase in Bcl-2 expression.

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    • "It is possible that the lithium fraction in the lithium salt of ACA leads to neuroprotective effects, as shown previously in a rat model of partial optic nerve crush. However, the amount of lithium in doses of ACA as high as 250 mg/kg is less than that which showed a significant neuroprotective effect in previous studies of the retina [27]. Furthermore, Massieu et al. demonstrated a protective effect of the lithium salt of ACA (250 mg/kg i.p.) but not of the lithium fraction alone in a model of glutamate-mediated neuronal damage in the hippocampus [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of systemically administered lithium acetoacetate (ACA) and sodium β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in a rat model of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced damage of retinal ganglion cells (RGC). Additionally, the influence of ACA and BHB on kynurenic acid (KYNA) production was assessed in vitro in bovine retinal slices. Female adult Brown-Norway rats in groups of 5-8 animals were used. ACA and BHB were administered intraperitoneally once a day for 21 consecutive days, and phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was administered to control animals. After 2 weeks, the animals received intraocular NMDA (2 μl of a 10 mM solution in PBS) or intraocular PBS as a control. On day 19, retinal ganglion cells were labeled retrogradely with hydroxystilbamidine. Two days later, RGC density (cells per mm(2)) was assessed on retinal flatmounts. Additionaly, bovine retinal slices were incubated with NMDA and ACA or BHB at concentrations of 1.0 mM and 3.0 mM, and de novo KYNA production was measured using HPLC. Intraperitoneal ACA (250 mg/kg) or BHB (291.2 mg/kg) significantly protected RGC against NMDA-induced neurodegeneration. De novo KYNA production in bovine retinal slices was lowered by NMDA. Both ACA and BHB at a concentration of 3.0 mM significantly reduced the effects of NMDA. ACA and BHB had a significant dose-dependent neuroprotective effect on RGC in a rat model of NMDA-induced RGC damage. Both ketone bodies also significantly attenuated NMDA-induced reduction of retinal KYNA production in vitro, suggesting that this mechanism may be essential for the neuroprotective effects of ACA and BHB in vivo. Our results imply that ketone bodies may represent an additional treatment option in chronic neurodegenerative disorders of the eye.
    Albrecht von Graæes Archiv für Ophthalmologie 12/2010; 248(12):1729-35. DOI:10.1007/s00417-010-1425-7 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    • "An additional concern in the experimental design is that lithium chloride (LiCl) is a proven neuroprotectant in models of ischemia (Nonaka and Chuang, 1998, Nonaka et al., 1998, Bian et al., 2007) and nerve crush (Schuettauf et al., 2006). LiCl is routinely pre-administered in studies utilizing Pc to reduce the peripheral effects of Pc (Honchar et al., 1983, Jope et al., 1986). "
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    ABSTRACT: Following CNS injury there is a period of vulnerability when cells will not easily tolerate a secondary insult. However recent studies have shown that following traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as hypoxic-ischemic injuries, the CNS may experience a period of protection termed "preconditioning." While there is literature characterizing the properties of vulnerability and preconditioning in the adult rodent, there is an absence of comparable literature in the developing rat. To determine if there is a window of vulnerability in the developing rat, post-natal day 19 animals were subjected to a severe lateral fluid percussion injury followed by pilocarpine (Pc)-induced status epilepticus at 1, 6 or 24 h post TBI. During the first 24 h after TBI, the dorsal hippocampus exhibited less status epilepticus-induced cell death than that normally seen following Pc administration alone. Instead of producing a state of hippocampal vulnerability to activation, TBI produced a state of neuroprotection. However, in a second group of animals evaluated 20 weeks post injury, double-injured animals were statistically indistinguishable in terms of seizure threshold, mossy fiber sprouting and cell survival when compared to those treated with Pc alone. TBI, therefore, produced a temporary state of neuroprotection from seizure-induced cell death in the developing rat; however, this ultimately conferred no long-term protection from altered hippocampal circuit rearrangements, enhanced excitability or later convulsive seizures.
    Neuroscience 09/2009; 164(2):862-76. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.08.021 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "On a shorttime scale, a single citicoline dose of 300 mg/kg given immediately after the insult reduced caspase-3 activation and Hsp70 overexpression 24 h post-insult. Cerebroprotective/neuroprotective effects of citicoline have been described in various adult ischemia models (Grieb et al. 2001, Adibhatla and Hatcher 2002, Schuettauf et al. 2006), as well as in cultured neural cells (Mykita et al. 1986, Mir et al. 2003). As mentioned in the Introduction, the protection may involve several mechanisms. "
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate protective potential of citicoline in a model of birth asphyxia, the drug was given to 7-day old rats subjected to permanent unilateral carotid artery occlusion and exposed for 65 min to a hypoxic gas mixture. Daily citicoline doses of 100 or 300 m/kg, or vehicle, were injected intraperitoneally for 7 consecutive days beginning immediately after the end of the ischemic-hypoxic insult, and brain damage was assessed by gross zorphology score and weight deficit two weeks after the insult. Caspase-3, alpha-fodrin, Bcl-2, and Hsp70 levels were assessed at 0, 1, and 24 h after the end of the hypoxic insult in another group of rat pups subjected to the same insult and given a single dose of 300 m/kg of citicoline or the vehicle. Citicoline markedly reduced caspase-3 activation and Hsp70 expression 24 h after the insult, and dose-dependently attenuated brain damage. In the context of the well-known excellent safety profile of citicoline, these data suggest that clinical evaluation of the efficacy of the drug in human birth asphyxia may be warranted.
    Acta neurobiologiae experimentalis 02/2008; 68(3):389-97. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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