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Clin Sci (Lond). 2017 Sep 3;131(18):2363-2375. doi: 10.1042/CS20171182. Print 2017 Sep 15.

Trimetazidine protects retinal ganglion cells from acute glaucoma via the Nrf2/Ho-1 pathway.

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State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China.
State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510060, China


Acute glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible vision impairment characterized by the rapid elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) and consequent retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been considered critical for the pathogenesis of RGC death in acute glaucoma. Trimetazidine (TMZ), an anti-ischemic drug, possesses antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to its therapeutic potential in tissue damage. However, the role of TMZ in acute glaucoma and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report that treatment with TMZ significantly attenuated retinal damage and RGC death in mice with acute glaucoma, with a significant decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokine production in the retina. Furthermore, TMZ treatment directly decreased ROS production and rebalanced the intracellular redox state, thus contributing to the survival of RGCs in vitro TMZ treatment also reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines in vitro Mechanistically, the TMZ-mediated inhibition of apoptosis and inflammatory cytokine production in RGCs occurred via the regulation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase 1/caspase-8 pathway. Moreover, the TMZ-mediated neuroprotection in acute glaucoma was abrogated when an HO-1 inhibitor, SnPP, was used. Our findings identify potential mechanisms of RGC apoptosis and propose a novel therapeutic agent, TMZ, which exerts a precise neuroprotective effect against acute glaucoma.


Acute glaucoma; Oxidation; Retinal ganglion cells; Trimetazidine; inflammation

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