Tackling Glaucoma from within the Brain: An Unfortunate Interplay of BDNF and TrkBReport as inadecuate

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According to the neurotrophin deprivation hypothesis, diminished retrograde delivery of neurotrophic support during an early stage of glaucoma pathogenesis is one of the main triggers that induce retinal ganglion cell RGC degeneration. Therefore, interfering with neurotrophic signaling seems an attractive strategy to achieve neuroprotection. Indeed, exogenous neurotrophin administration to the eye has been shown to reduce loss of RGCs in animal models of glaucoma; however, the neuroprotective effect was mostly insufficient for sustained RGC survival. We hypothesized that treatment at the level of neurotrophin-releasing brain areas might be beneficial, as signaling pathways activated by target-derived neurotrophins are suggested to differ from pathways that are initiated at the soma membrane. In our study, first, the spatiotemporal course of RGC degeneration was characterized in mice subjected to optic nerve crush ONC or laser induced ocular hypertension OHT. Subsequently, the well-known neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF was chosen as the lead molecule, and the levels of BDNF and its high-affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B TrkB, were examined in the mouse retina and superior colliculus SC upon ONC and OHT. Both models differentially influenced BDNF and TrkB levels. Next, we aimed for RGC protection through viral vector-mediated upregulation of collicular BDNF, thought to boost the retrograde neurotrophin delivery. Although the previously reported temporary neuroprotective effect of intravitreally delivered recombinant BDNF was confirmed, viral vector-induced BDNF overexpression in the SC did not result in protection of the RGCs in the glaucoma models used. These findings most likely relate to decreased neurotrophin responsiveness upon vector-mediated BDNF overexpression. Our results highlight important insights concerning the complexity of neurotrophic factor treatments that should surely be considered in future neuroprotective strategies.

Author: Eline Dekeyster, Emiel Geeraerts, Tom Buyens, Chris Van den Haute, Veerle Baekelandt, Lies De Groef, Manuel Salinas-Navarro, Liev

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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