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Won-Kyu Ju, Keun-Young Kim, Mila Angert, Karen X. Duong-Polk, James D. Lindsey, Mark H. Ellisman, Robert N. Weinreb; Memantine Blocks Mitochondrial OPA1 and Cytochrome c Release and Subsequent Apoptotic Cell Death in Glaucomatous Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(2):707-716. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.08-2499.
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purpose. To determine whether intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation alters OPA1 expression and triggers OPA1 release, as well as whether the uncompetitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor antagonist memantine blocks OPA1 release and subsequent apoptotic cell death in glaucomatous DBA/2J mouse retina.
methods. Preglaucomatous DBA/2J mice received memantine (5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection, twice daily for 3 months) and IOP in the eyes was measured monthly. RGC loss was counted after FluoroGold labeling. OPA1, Dnm1, Bcl-2, and Bax mRNA were measured by qPCR. OPA1 protein was assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Apoptotic cell death was assessed by TUNEL staining.
results. Memantine treatment significantly increased RGC survival in glaucomatous DBA/2J mice and increased the 75-kDa OPA1 isoform, but did not alter the 80- and 90-kDa isoforms. The isoforms of OPA1 were significantly increased in the cytosol of the vehicle-treated glaucomatous retinas but were significantly decreased in memantine-treated glaucomatous retinas. OPA1 immunoreactivity was decreased in the photoreceptors of both vehicle- and memantine-treated glaucomatous retinas, but was increased in the outer plexiform layer of only the memantine-treated glaucomatous retinas. Memantine blocked apoptotic cell death in the GCL, increased Bcl-2 gene expression, and decreased Bax gene expression.
conclusions. OPA1 release from mitochondria in glaucomatous mouse retina is inhibited by blockade of glutamate receptor activation. Because this OPA1 effect was accompanied by increased Bcl-2 expression, decreased Bax expression, and apoptosis blockade, glutamate receptor activation in the glaucomatous retina may involve a distinct mitochondria-mediated cell death pathway.
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