Retinal protection from acute glaucoma-induced ischemia-reperfusion injury through pharmacologic induction of heme oxygenase-1

Ming Hui Sun, Jong Hwei Su Pang, Show Li Chen, Wen Hua Han, Tsung Chuan Ho, Kuan Jen Chen, Ling Yuh Kao, Ken Kuo Lin, Yeou Ping Tsao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

78 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To investigate the protective effects of cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP), a potent heme oxygenase (HO)-1 inducer, in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion injury and to document the possible antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms underlying the protection. METHODS. Rats pretreated with intraperitoneal injection of CoPP (5 mg/kg) were subjected to retinal ischemia by increases in intraocular pressure to 130 mm Hg for 60 minutes. The protective effects of CoPP were evaluated by determining the morphology of the retina, counting the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and measuring apoptosis in retinal layers. In addition, expressions of HO-1, caspase-3, p53, Bcl-xL, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were documented by Western blot analysis. Detection of HO-1, NF-κB, and CD68 protein in the retina was performed by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence. RESULTS. Pharmacologic induction of HO-1 by CoPP led to HO-1 expression in the full retinal layer. HO-1 overexpression alleviated apoptosis in the retina, preserved RGCs, and attenuated the reduction of inner retinal thickness after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Concurrently, overexpression of HO-1 was associated with inhibition of caspase-3, p53, NF-κB, and iNOS and with increased expression of Bcl-xL. Meanwhile, the anti-inflammatory effect of HO-1 was related to reduction in the recruitment of macrophage infiltration in the retina through the suppression of MCP-1. These beneficial effects of HO-1 induced by CoPP were diminished by the HO-1 inhibitor ZnPP. CONCLUSIONS. Overexpression of HO-1 by pharmacologic induction protected the retina from subsequent cellular damage caused by ischemia-reperfusion injury through antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4798-4808
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 09 2010


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