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Jeffrey Ryan Sims, Yolandi van der Merwe, Matthew C. Murphy, Xiaoling Yang, Leon C. Ho, Ian P Conner, Yu Yu, Christopher Kai-Shun Leung, Gadi Wollstein, Joel S Schuman, Kevin C Chan; Choline metabolism in the visual cortex following chronic intraocular pressure elevation and oral citicoline treatment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):648.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent studies suggest that glaucoma involves trans-neuronal changes in choline metabolism in the brain’s visual system. In addition, citicoline has been suggested as a potential therapeutic for neurodegenerative diseases including glaucoma, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we use proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and optokinetics to examine the effects of chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation and oral citicoline treatment on brain metabolism and visual function in a novel rat model of experimental glaucoma.
Twenty-three adult Long Evans rats were divided into 3 groups. In Group 1 (n=6) and Group 2 (n=7), the right eye was intracamerally injected with an optically clear crosslinking hydrogel for chronic IOP elevation; Group 2 also received daily oral citicoline dosing for 7 days prior to hydrogel injection, and every 48 hours for 14 days post-injection. The sham group (Group 3, n=7) received an intracameral injection of buffer solution only. IOP and visual acuity (VA) were measured longitudinally using a TonoLab rebound tonometer and the OptoMotry virtual reality system, respectively. 1H-MRS was acquired over the left and right visual cortices at 5 weeks post-injection using a 9.4T MRI scanner.
VA of the left, uninjured eyes remained constant over the experimental period, whereas VA of citicoline-treated right eyes appeared to deteriorate more slowly than untreated right eyes after similar levels of chronic IOP elevation (Fig 1). The left visual cortex projecting from the right, hydrogel-injected eye without citicoline treatment showed a reduced choline level compared to the contralateral right visual cortex projecting from the left, uninjured eye. Interestingly, a higher choline level was found in the left visual cortex of citicoline-treated rats compared to untreated rats (Fig 2). No apparent metabolic change was observed in the sham group.
Chronic IOP elevation by intracameral hydrogel injection significantly decreased visual acuity and choline-containing compounds in the visual cortex, whereas oral administration of citicoline ameliorated these effects. Our findings suggest that oral citicoline treatment may possess neuroprotective effects on the visual cortex by replenishing choline contents during glaucomatous degeneration, and 1H-MRS may help in monitoring such metabolic changes in the brain.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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