PURPOSE. To investigate the neuroprotective effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) against chronic ocular hypertension (OHT) in rats and to consider if effects differed when treatment was applied before (pretreatment) or during (posttreatment) chronic IOP elevation. METHODS. Sprague-Dawley rats (10-weeks old) underwent suture implantation around the limbus for 15 weeks (OHT) or 1 day (sham). Four experimental groups were studied, three OHT groups (n = 8 each) treated either with vehicle (PBS), LBP pretreatment or posttreatment, and a sham control (n = 5) received no treatment. LBP (1 mg/kg) pre- and posttreatment were commenced at 1 week before and 4 weeks after OHT induction, respectively. Treatments continued up through week 15. IOP was monitored twice weekly for 15 weeks. Optical coherence tomography and ERG were measured at baseline, week 4, 8, 12, and 15. Eyes were collected for ganglion cell layer (GCL) histologic analysis at week 15. RESULTS. Suture implantation successfully induced approximately 50% IOP elevation and the cumulative IOP was similar between the three OHT groups. When compared with vehicle control (week 4: -23 6 5%, P = 0.03), LBP pretreatment delayed the onset of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning (week 4, 8: -2 6 7%, -11 6 3%, P > 0.05) and arrested further reduction up through week 15 (-10 6 4%, P > 0.05). LBP posttreatment intervention showed no significant change in rate of loss (week 4, 15: -25 6 4.1%, -28 6 3%). However, both LBP treatments preserved the retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and retinal functions up to week 15, which were significantly reduced in vehicle control. CONCLUSIONS. LBP posttreatment arrested the subsequent neuronal degeneration after treatment commencement and preserved RGC density and retinal functions in a chronic OHT model, which was comparable with pretreatment outcomes.
- Chronic rat model
- Lycium polysaccharides
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience