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Arthur J. Weber, Suresh Viswanáthan, Chidambaram Ramanathan, Christine D. Harman; Combined Application of BDNF to the Eye and Brain Enhances Ganglion Cell Survival and Function in the Cat after Optic Nerve Injury. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(1):327-334. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-3740.
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To determine whether application of BDNF to the eye and brain provides a greater level of neuroprotection after optic nerve injury than treatment of the eye alone.
Retinal ganglion cell survival and pattern electroretinographic responses were compared in normal cat eyes and in eyes that received (1) a mild nerve crush and no treatment, (2) a single intravitreal injection of BDNF at the time of the nerve injury, or (3) intravitreal treatment combined with 1 to 2 weeks of continuous delivery of BDNF to the visual cortex, bilaterally.
Relative to no treatment, administration of BDNF to the eye alone resulted in a significant increase in ganglion cell survival at both 1 and 2 weeks after nerve crush (1 week, 79% vs. 55%; 2 weeks, 60% vs. 31%). Combined treatment of the eye and visual cortex resulted in a modest additional increase (17%) in ganglion cell survival in the 1-week eyes, a further significant increase (55%) in the 2-week eyes, and ganglion cell survival levels for both that were comparable to normal (92%–93% survival). Pattern ERG responses for all the treated eyes were comparable to normal at 1 week after injury; however, at 2 weeks, only the responses of eyes receiving the combined BDNF treatment remained so.
Although treatment of the eye alone with BDNF has a significant impact on ganglion cell survival after optic nerve injury, combined treatment of the eye and brain may represent an even more effective approach and should be considered in the development of future optic neuropathy–related neuroprotection strategies.
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