May 2004
Volume 45, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2004
Neuroprotective effect of lithium on retinal detachment–associated photoreceptor cell degeneration
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • L. Yang
    Schepens Eye Research Institute,Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  L. Yang, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH/NEI EY012983; Massachusetts Lion’s Eye Research Fund; Department of Army
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2004, Vol.45, 858. doi:
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      L. Yang; Neuroprotective effect of lithium on retinal detachment–associated photoreceptor cell degeneration . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):858.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract: : Purpose:To study the effect of neuroprotective agent, lithium, on photoreceptor cell degeneration in an experimental model of retinal detachment in mice. Methods: Retinal detachment was induced in the C57BL/6J mice by subretinal injection of 1.4% sodium hyaluronate. Immediately after the surgery, mice were divided into two groups: one group received a diet containing lithium and other received a control diet. At 3, 7, 14, and 28 days after surgery, mice were sacrificed, and retinal sections were collected. Photoreceptor cell survival and apoptosis were assessed by immunohistochemistry and TUNEL. Results: In the control group, photoreceptor cell apoptosis was detected in the detached retina from day 1 after injury, peaked on day 3, and dropped precipitously after day 7. Treatment of lithium abolished photoreceptor cell apoptosis in the first 3 days after retinal detachment. Moreover, it was evident that retinal detachment activated glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)–3ß and other apoptotic signals, while lithium suppressed GSK–3ß activation and increased the expression of anti–apoptotic protein, Bcl–2, in the detached retina. Conclusions: Lithium reduces photoreceptor cell apoptosis associated with retinal detachment by inducing Bcl–2 expression and suppressing the activity of glycogen synthase kinase–3ß in photoreceptor cells. These data suggest that lithium can be used as a potential drug for treating photoreceptor receptor degeneration following retinal detachment.

Keywords: photoreceptors • retinal detachment • apoptosis/cell death 

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