Date: 13 Jan 2006

Neuroprotective effect of latanoprost on rat retinal ganglion cells

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To investigate the neuroprotective effect of intravitreal administration of latanoprost on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) damage induced by N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) or optic nerve axotomy.


Using Sprague-Dawley rats, retinal ganglion cell damage was induced by either intravitreal administration of NMDA or optic nerve axotomy. Latanoprost at doses of 0.03, 0.3, 3, 30 and 300 pmol was administered intravitreally before NMDA injection or optic nerve axotomy. Retinal damage was evaluated by counting the number of surviving RGCs retrogradely labeled with fluorogold under the microscope.


Seven days after the NMDA injury, the number of surviving RGCs was significantly increased at doses of more than 30 pmol atanoprost (846±178 cells/mm2 P=0.0166) compared with vehicle control (556±122 cells/mm2). Ten days after the optic nerve axotomy, the number of surviving RGC was significantly increased even at a dose of 0.3 pmol (815±239 cells/mm2, P=0.0359) compared with control (462±75 cells/mm2).


Intravitreal administration of latanoprost has a neuroprotective effect on rat RGC damage induced by either NMDA or optic nerve axotomy, while its pharmacological features are different.