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Binxing Li, Preejith P Vachali, Zhengqing Shen, Kelly Nelson, Saeed Shihab, Peter Barabas, igor Ermakov, Werner Gellermann, Paul S Bernstein; Zeaxanthin Supplementation Improves Visual Performance in Transgenic “Macular Pigment Mice”. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):182.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The physiological function of the macular carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, is thought to be protection against light induced oxidative damage in the human retina and to improve human visual performance. Until now, the absence of a small animal mammalian model that can accumulate retinal carotenoids has made further mechanistic investigation of these effects very difficult. Recently, we have shown that zeaxanthin can accumulate in the retina of BCO2 knockout mice. In this study, the effects of zeaxanthin on visual acuity were examined in these “macular pigment mice.”
Sixteen 8-week-old BCO2 knockout mice were divided into two groups, and fed respectively with zeaxanthin chow and carotenoid deficient chow for 4 weeks. Carotenoid content in mouse retina was examined by HPLC and resonance Raman spectroscopy. Rod spatial frequency, cone spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity of these mice were measured by Optomotry. Photopic and scotopic ERG also were employed to determine their photoreceptor function.
Carotenoid was detected only in the retina of BCO2 knockout mice fed with zeaxanthin using resonance Raman spectroscopy. Rod spatial frequency and cone spatial frequency of mice fed with zeaxanthin were significantly increased around 2 and 1.5 times than those of the mice fed with carotenoid deficient chow, respectively. The contrast sensitivity of mice fed with zeaxanthin improved around 1.6 times in comparison to those of the mice fed with carotenoid deficient chow. No significant difference was detected between these two groups by photopic or scotopic ERG.
Zeaxanthin supplementation can improve the mouse’s visual performance in a manner similar to what has been described in humans. Investigation on the photoprotective role of xanthophyll carotenoids in these “macular pigment mice” is in progress.
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