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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Aug 17;96(17):9944-8.

Inhibition of nitric-oxide synthase 2 by aminoguanidine provides neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of chronic glaucoma.

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1
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. neufelda@am.seer.wustl.edu

Abstract

Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy with cupping of the optic disk, degeneration of retinal ganglion cells, and characteristic visual field loss. Because elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for progression of glaucoma, treatment has been based on lowering IOP. We previously demonstrated inducible nitric-oxide synthase (NOS-2) in the optic nerve heads from human glaucomatous eyes and from rat eyes with chronic, moderately elevated IOP. Using this rat model of unilateral glaucoma, we treated a group of animals for 6 months with aminoguanidine, a relatively specific inhibitor of NOS-2, and compared them with an untreated group. At 6 months, untreated animals had pallor and cupping of the optic disks in the eyes with elevated IOP. Eyes of aminoguanidine-treated animals with similar elevations of IOP appeared normal. We quantitated retinal ganglion cell loss by retrograde labeling with Fluoro-Gold. When compared with their contralateral control eyes with normal IOP, eyes with elevated IOP in the untreated group lost 36% of their retinal ganglion cells; the eyes with similarly elevated IOP in the aminoguanidine-treated group lost less than 10% of their retinal ganglion cells. Pharmacological neuroprotection by inhibition of NOS-2 may prove useful for the treatment of patients with glaucoma.

PMID:
10449799
PMCID:
PMC22315
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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