Abstract #90749 Published in IGR 21-3

Topical administration of rapamycin promotes retinal ganglion cell survival and reduces intraocular pressure in a rat glaucoma model

Wang F; Ma F; Song Y; Li N; Li X; Pang Y; Hu P; Shao A; Deng C; Zhang X
European Journal of Pharmacology 2020; 884: 173369

Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy that has become the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Studies have shown that the protein mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a central role in regulating numerous functions, such as growth, proliferation, cytoskeletal organization, metabolism, and autophagy. Clinical trials have shown that Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT). In this study, we explored whether rapamycin (RAPA) eye drops can reduce IOP and protect retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Our results indicated that in rats treated with RAPA, the drug was detected in the aqueous humor (AH), and the IOP was reduced. This may be related to the inhibition of RhoA protein activation by RAPA and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. In addition, the retinal thickness and the survival rate of RGCs were significantly reduced in the OHT group compared with the control group. These changes in the OHT group were significantly improved after treatment with RAPA. This may be because RAPA inhibited the activation of glial cells and the release of proinflammatory factors, thereby attenuating further damage to the retina and RGCs. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrated that RAPA not only reduced IOP but also protected RGCs, suggesting that RAPA is likely to be an effective strategy for the treatment of glaucoma.

Affiliated Eye Hospital of Nanchang University, Jiangxi Research Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Nanchang, China.

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3.9 Pathophysiology (Part of: 3 Laboratory methods)
11.8 Neuroprotection (Part of: 11 Medical treatment)
5.1 Rodent (Part of: 5 Experimental glaucoma; animal models)
3.8 Pharmacology (Part of: 3 Laboratory methods)

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