Y-27632, a Rho-associated protein kinase inhibitor, attenuates neuronal cell death after transient retinal ischemia
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- Hirata, A., Inatani, M., Inomata, Y. et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2008) 246: 51. doi:10.1007/s00417-007-0666-6
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Transient retinal ischemia induces the death of retinal neuronal cells. Postischemic damage is associated with the infiltration of leukocytes into the neural tissue through vascular endothelia. The current study aimed to investigate whether this damage was attenuated by the inhibition of Rho/ROCK (Rho kinases) signaling, recently shown to play a critical role in the transendothelial migration of leukocytes.
Y-27632, a selective inhibitor of ROCK, was injected intravitreally into rat eyes with transient retinal ischemia. Cell loss of the ganglion cell layer (GCL) and thinning of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) with and without the administration of Y-27632 were evaluated by histological anaysis, TUNEL assay and retrograde labeling of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). To examine the attenuation of leukocyte infiltration in postischemic retinas with the administration of Y-27632, silver nitrate staining and immunohistochemistry using an anti-LCA antibody were performed.
Cell loss of the GCL and thinning of the IPL were significantly attenuated when 100 nmol Y-27632 was administered within three hours of the induction of ischemia. TUNEL assay and retrograde labeling of RGCs showed a decreased number of apoptotic cells and an increased number of RGCs in Y-27632-injected retinas. Moreover, silver nitrate staining and immunohistochemical analysis using an anti-LCA antibody showed that Y-27632 injection dramatically inhibited leukocyte infiltration and endothelial disarrangement.
Our data suggest that inhibition of Rho/ROCK signaling offers neuroprotective therapy against postischemic neural damage, by regulating leukocyte infiltration in the neural tissue.