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      A Dietary Combination of Forskolin with Homotaurine, Spearmint and B Vitamins Protects Injured Retinal Ganglion Cells in a Rodent Model of Hypertensive Glaucoma

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          Abstract

          There is indication that nutritional supplements protect retinal cells from degeneration. In a previous study, we demonstrated that dietary supplementation with an association of forskolin, homotaurine, spearmint extract and B vitamins efficiently counteracts retinal dysfunction associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death caused by optic nerve crush. We extended our investigation on the efficacy of dietary supplementation with the use of a mouse model in which RGC degeneration depends as closely as possible on intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. In this model, injecting the anterior chamber of the eye with methylcellulose (MCE) causes IOP elevation leading to RGC dysfunction. The MCE model was characterized in terms of IOP elevation, retinal dysfunction as determined by electrophysiological recordings, RGC loss as determined by brain-specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3A immunoreactivity and dysregulated levels of inflammatory and apoptotic markers. Except for IOP elevation, dysfunctional retinal parameters were all recovered by dietary supplementation indicating the involvement of non-IOP-related neuroprotective mechanisms of action. Our hypothesis is that the diet supplement may be used to counteract the inflammatory processes triggered by glial cell activation, thus leading to spared RGC loss and the preservation of visual dysfunction. In this respect, the present compound may be viewed as a potential remedy to be added to the currently approved drug therapies for improving RGC protection.

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          Most cited references 64

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          Reactive oxygen species, nutrition, hypoxia and diseases: Problems solved?

          Within the last twenty years the view on reactive oxygen species (ROS) has changed; they are no longer only considered to be harmful but also necessary for cellular communication and homeostasis in different organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals. In the latter, ROS were shown to modulate diverse physiological processes including the regulation of growth factor signaling, the hypoxic response, inflammation and the immune response. During the last 60–100 years the life style, at least in the Western world, has changed enormously. This became obvious with an increase in caloric intake, decreased energy expenditure as well as the appearance of alcoholism and smoking; These changes were shown to contribute to generation of ROS which are, at least in part, associated with the occurrence of several chronic diseases like adiposity, atherosclerosis, type II diabetes, and cancer. In this review we discuss aspects and problems on the role of intracellular ROS formation and nutrition with the link to diseases and their problematic therapeutical issues.
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            Progressive ganglion cell loss and optic nerve degeneration in DBA/2J mice is variable and asymmetric

            Background Glaucoma is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of the retina, characterized by the degeneration of axons in the optic nerve and retinal ganglion cell apoptosis. DBA/2J inbred mice develop chronic hereditary glaucoma and are an important model system to study the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease and novel therapeutic interventions designed to attenuate the loss of retinal ganglion cells. Although the genetics of this disease in these mice are well characterized, the etiology of its progression, particularly with respect to retinal degeneration, is not. We have used two separate labeling techniques, post-mortem DiI labeling of axons and ganglion cell-specific expression of the βGeo reporter gene, to evaluate the time course of optic nerve degeneration and ganglion cell loss, respectively, in aging mice. Results Optic nerve degeneration, characterized by axon loss and gliosis is first apparent in mice between 8 and 9 months of age. Degeneration appears to follow a retrograde course with axons dying from their proximal ends toward the globe. Although nerve damage is typically bilateral, the progression of disease is asymmetric between the eyes of individual mice. Some nerves also exhibit focal preservation of tracts of axons generally in the nasal peripheral region. Ganglion cell loss, as a function of the loss of βGeo expression, is evident in some mice between 8 and 10 months of age and is prevalent in the majority of mice older than 10.5 months. Most eyes display a uniform loss of ganglion cells throughout the retina, but many younger mice exhibit focal loss of cells in sectors extending from the optic nerve head to the retinal periphery. Similar to what we observe in the optic nerves, ganglion cell loss is often asymmetric between the eyes of the same animal. Conclusion A comparison of the data collected from the two cohorts of mice used for this study suggests that the initial site of damage in this disease is to the axons in the optic nerve, followed by the subsequent death of the ganglion cell soma.
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              Noninvasive measurement of rodent intraocular pressure with a rebound tonometer.

              The present study evaluated the applicability of a rebound tonometer in measuring intraocular pressure (IOP) in rats and mice. The accuracy of the TonoLab rebound tonometer was determined in cannulated mouse and rat eyes. IOP was manipulated by changing reservoir height, and tonometer pressure readings were recorded by an independent observer. IOP values were recorded in conscious Wistar rats and in four different strains of mice. The effects of anesthesia on IOP were evaluated in two different strains of mice. The IOP readings generated by the rebound tonometer correlated very well with the actual pressure in the eye. In rats, this linear correlation had a slope of 0.96 +/- 0.05 (mean +/- SEM, n = 4) and a Y-intercept of -2.1 +/- 1.2. In mice, the slope was 0.99 +/- 0.05 (n = 3), and the Y-intercept was 0.8 +/- 1.4. Using this method, the resting IOP of conscious male Wistar rats was observed to be 18.4 +/- 0.1 mm Hg (n = 132). In mice, strain differences in IOP were detected. Baseline IOP values in Balb/c, C57-BL/6, CBA, and 11- to 12-month-old DBA/2J mice were 10.6 +/- 0.6, 13.3 +/- 0.3, 16.4 +/- 0.3, and 19.3 +/- 0.4 mm Hg (n = 12), respectively. In separated studies, anesthesia lowered IOP from 14.3 +/- 0.9 to 9.2 +/- 0.5 mm Hg (n = 8) in C57-BL/6 mice, and from 16.6 +/- 0.4 to 9.4 +/- 0.6 mm Hg (n = 10) in CBA mice. The rebound tonometer was easy to use and accurately measured IOP in rats and mice. This technique, together with advances in genetic and other biological studies in rodents, will be valuable in the further understanding of the etiology and pathology of glaucoma.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nutrients
                Nutrients
                nutrients
                Nutrients
                MDPI
                2072-6643
                23 April 2020
                April 2020
                : 12
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biology, University of Pisa, via San Zeno, 31, 56127 Pisa, Italy; maurizio.cammalleri@ 123456unipi.it (M.C.); rosario.amato@ 123456biologia.unipi.it (R.A.); paola.bagnoli@ 123456unipi.it (P.B.)
                [2 ]Interdepartmental Research Center Nutrafood “Nutraceuticals and Food for Health”, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
                [3 ]Sooft Research Center, Viale Andrea Doria, 21, 95125 Catania, Italy; dario.rusciano@ 123456sooft.it
                Author notes
                Article
                nutrients-12-01189
                10.3390/nu12041189
                7230514
                32340314
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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