Lea D Wicker

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

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Publications (4)15.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In a mouse model of acute light-induced retinal degeneration, positive correlations between the levels of DHA, the levels of n3 PUFA lipid peroxidation, and the vulnerability to photooxidative stress were observed. On the other hand, higher sensitivity of the electroretinogram a-wave response, a measure of the amplification of the phototransduction cascade, was correlated with higher retinal DHA levels. These results highlight the dual roles of DHA in cellular physiology and pathology.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease that has potential involvement of inflammatory and oxidative stress-related pathways in its pathogenesis. In search of effective therapeutic agents, we tested curcumin, a naturally occurring compound with known anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, in a rat model of light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD) and in retina-derived cell lines. We hypothesized that any compound effective against LIRD, which involves significant oxidative stress and inflammation, would be a candidate for further characterization for its potential application in AMD. We observed significant retinal neuroprotection in rats fed diets supplemented with curcumin (0.2% in diet) for 2 weeks. The mechanism of retinal protection from LIRD by curcumin involves inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and down-regulation of cellular inflammatory genes. When tested on retina-derived cell lines (661W and ARPE-19), pretreatment of curcumin protected these cells from H(2)O(2)-induced cell death by up-regulating cellular protective enzymes, such as HO-1, thioredoxin. Since, curcumin with its pleiotropic activities can modulate the expression and activation of many cellular regulatory proteins such as NF-kappaB, AKT, NRF2, and growth factors, which in turn inhibit cellular inflammatory responses and protect cells; we speculate that curcumin would be an effective nutraceutical compound for preventive and augmentative therapy of AMD.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The fat-1 gene cloned from C. elegans encodes an n-3 fatty acid desaturase that converts n-6 to n-3 PUFA. Mice carrying the fat-1 transgene and wild-type controls were fed an n-3-deficient/n-6-enriched diet [fat-1- safflower oil (SFO) and wt-SFO, respectively]. Fatty acid profiles of rod outer segments (ROS), cerebellum, plasma, and liver demonstrated significantly lower n-6/n-3 ratios and higher docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in fat-1-SFO compared with wt-SFO. When mice were exposed to light stress: 1) the outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness was reduced; 2) amplitudes of the electroretinogram (ERG) were lower; 3) the number of apoptotic photoreceptor cells was greater; and 4) modification of retinal proteins by 4-hydroxyhexenal (4-HHE), an end-product of n-3 PUFA oxidation was increased in both fat-1-SFO and wt mice fed a regular lab chow diet compared with wt-SFO. The results indicate a positive correlation between the level of DHA, the degree of n-3 PUFA lipid peroxidation, and the vulnerability of the retina to photooxidative stress. In mice not exposed to intense light, the reduction in DHA resulted in reduced efficacy in phototransduction gain steps, while no differences in the retinal morphology or retinal biochemistry. These results highlight the dual roles of DHA in cellular physiology and pathology.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2008 · The Journal of Lipid Research
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    ABSTRACT: RDH11 and RDH12 are closely related retinol dehydrogenases expressed in the retina. RDH12 has been linked to the early-onset retinal dystrophy Leber congenital amaurosis, whereas RDH11 has not been associated with human disease. To understand their physiological roles, the authors investigated their expression during development and their regulation by light-induced oxidative stress in mouse retina. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis were used for quantification of RDH11 and RDH12 during development and oxidative stress. Expression during development was measured between embryonic day (E) 12 and postnatal day (P) 210 (7 months) in C57BL/6 mouse eyes. Expression during light-induced oxidative stress was measured between 2 and 24 hours of exposure to light in BALB/c mouse retina. The RDH11 level was low and remarkably constant during development and oxidative stress. RDH12 expression started at P7 and increased until P30 to approximately sevenfold higher than RDH11. Oxidative stress induced by exposure to constant bright light led to a rapid and significant decrease of RDH12 protein. The low and constant expression of RDH11 suggested a housekeeping function for this enzyme. The onset of RDH12 expression during the maturation of photoreceptor cells suggested a function related to the visual process. The light-induced rapid decrease of RDH12 protein, preceding the decrease of the mRNA, suggested a specific degradation of the protein rather than a regulation of gene expression.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science