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Nathaniel F. Henneman, Stephanie L. Foster, Micah A. Chrenek, Jana T. Sellers, Charles B. Wright, Robin H. Schmidt, John M. Nickerson, Jeffrey H. Boatright; Xanthohumol Protects Morphology and Function in a Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(1):45-53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-22132.
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To investigate whether treatment with xanthohumol (XN), the principal prenylated chalconoid from Humulus lupulus (hops), is protective in a mouse model of light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD).
Mice (129S2/SvPasCrl) were intraperitoneally injected with vehicle or XN prior to toxic light exposure and every 3 days thereafter. Retinal function was assessed by electroretinograms at 1, 2, and 4 weeks following toxic light exposure. Visual acuity was tested by optokinetic tracking 1 week and 4 weeks after toxic light exposure. Retina sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin for morphologic analysis or by TUNEL. Redox potentials were assessed in retinal tissue by measuring levels of cysteine (CYS), cystine (CYSS), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione disulfide (GSSG) using HPLC with fluorescence detection.
Toxic light significantly suppressed retinal function and visual acuity, severely disrupted the photoreceptor cell layer, and significantly decreased the number of nuclei and increased the accumulation of TUNEL-labeled cells in the outer nuclear layer. These effects were prevented by XN treatment. Treatment with XN also maintained GSSG and CYSS redox potentials and the total CYS pool in retinas of mice undergoing toxic light exposure.
XN treatment partially preserved visual acuity and retinal function in the LIRD mouse. Preservation of retinal CYS and of GSSG and CYSS redox potentials may indicate that XN treatment induces an increased antioxidant response, but further experiments are needed to verify this potential mechanism. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report protective effects of XN in a model of retinal degeneration.
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