Citicoline and lithium rescue retinal ganglion cells following partial optic nerve crush in the rat.
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: Damage resulting from a partial acute lesion of white matter in the central nervous system (CNS) gradually spreads also to neurons that escaped the primary injury, resulting in their degeneration. Such spreading has been referred to as secondary degeneration. In order to demonstrate that this degeneration is indeed secondary to that caused by the acute insult, as well as to investigate the mechanism underlying the spread of damage and ways in which to protect neurons from such damage, we have proposed the use of partial lesion of the rodent optic nerve as a model. In this model we examined whether an antagonist of a receptor-mediated channel, shown to be beneficial in gray matter lesions, can protect neurons from undergoing secondary degeneration following white matter lesion. A well-calibrated partial crush lesion inflicted on the optic nerve of adult rats was immediately followed by a single intraperitoneal injection of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, MK-801 (1 mg/kg). Protection of neurons from secondary degeneration was assessed by retrograde labeling and by measurement of the visual evoked potential (VEP) response to light. Two weeks after the injury, the mean number of neurons that were still intact was about threefold higher in the MK-801-treated group than in the saline-treated control group, indicating a treatment-induced protection of neurons that had escaped primary injury. A positive VEP response to light was obtained in 90% of the MK-801 treated animals and in only 50% of injured controls. The questions regarding whether the secondary degeneration of initially spared neurons starts in their cell bodies or in their axons, and consequently the identity of the primary site of their protection by MK-801, are discussed in relation to the absence of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors on nerve fibers. The present findings may have implications for both acute and chronic injuries of the CNS.Journal of Neurotrauma 10/1997; 14(9):665-75. · 4.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Injury of the optic nerve has served as an important model for the study of cell death and axon regeneration in the CNS. Analysis of axon sprouting and regeneration after injury by anatomical tracing are aided by lesion models that produce a well-defined injury site. We report here the characterization of a microcrush lesion of the optic nerve made with 10-0 sutures to completely transect RGC axons. Following microcrush lesion, 62% of RGCs remained alive 1 week later, and 28% of RGCs, at 2 weeks. Optic nerve sections stained by hematoxylin-based methods showed a thin line of intensely stained cells that invaded the lesion site at 24 h after microcrush lesion. The lesion site became increasingly disorganized by 2 weeks after injury, and both macrophages and blood vessels invaded the lesion site. The microcrush lesion was immunoreactive for chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPG), and an adjacent GFAP-negative zone developed early after the lesion, disappearing by 1 week. Luxol fast blue staining showed a myelin-free zone at the lesion site, and myelin remained distal to the lesion at 8 weeks. To study the axonal response to microcrush lesion, anterograde tracing was used. Within 6 h after injury all RGC axons retracted back from the site of lesion. By 1 week after injury, axons regrew toward the lesion, but most stopped abruptly at the injury scar. The few axons that were able to cross the injury site did not extend further in the optic nerve white matter by 8 weeks postlesion. Our observations suggest that both the CSPG-positive scar and the myelin-derived growth inhibitory proteins contribute to the failure of RGC regeneration after injury.Experimental Neurology 03/2001; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using quantitative anatomical techniques, we show that after intraorbital optic nerve transection in adult rats, virtually all retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) survive for 5 d and then die abruptly in large numbers, reducing the RGC population to approximately 50% of normal by day 7 and to less than 10% on day 14. During this period of rapid cell loss, some RGCs show cytochemical alterations indicative of apoptosis ("programmed cell death"), a change not previously categorized after axotomy in adult mammals. With intracranial lesions 8-9 mm from the eye, the onset of cell death is delayed until day 8 and is greater with cut than crush. The demonstration that axotomy results in apoptosis, the long interval between axonal injury and RGC death, and the different time of onset of the massive RGC loss with optic nerve lesions near or far from the eye suggest that axonal interruption triggers a cascade of molecular events whose outcome may be critically dependent on the availability of neuronal trophic support from endogenous or exogenous sources. The role of such molecules in RGC survival and the reversible nature of these injury-induced changes is underscored by the temporary rescue of most RGCs by a single intravitreal injection of brain-derived neurotrophic factor during the first 5 d after intraorbital optic nerve injury (Mansour-Robaey et al., 1994). The delayed pattern of RGC loss observed in the present experiments likely explains such a critical period for effective neurotrophin administration.Journal of Neuroscience 08/1994; 14(7):4368-74. · 6.91 Impact Factor