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Vol. 39, No. 2, 2007
Issue release date: March 2007
Section title: Original Paper
Ophthalmic Res 2007;39:69–75
(DOI:10.1159/000099240)

Neuroprotective and Intraocular Pressure-Lowering Effects of (–)Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in a Rat Model of Glaucoma

Crandall J. · Matragoon S. · Khalifa Y.M. · Borlongan C. · Tsai N.-T. · Caldwell R.B. · Liou G.I.
Departments of aOphthalmology, bPharmacology and Toxicology, cNeurology, dVascular Biology Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Ga., and eDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 9/14/2006
Published online: 2/2/2007

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0030-3747 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0259 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ORE

Abstract

In glaucoma, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death is induced by many risk factors, including ocular hypertension. It has been proposed that glutamate-mediated oxidative stress may also contribute to this RGC death. Cannabinoids are known to possess therapeutic properties including ocular hypotension and antioxidation. In this study, we test the hypothesis that (–)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) and prevents RGC death in a rat model of glaucoma. Arat model of experimental glaucoma with chronic, moderately elevated IOP was produced unilaterally by cauterization of episcleral vessels. Rats received weekly injections of THC at a level of 5 mg/kg or vehicle for 20 weeks. IOP of both eyes was measured weekly on anesthetized animals immediately before THC treatment. RGCs were labeled in a retrograde fashion and counted in whole-mounted retinas. IOP was elevated in all operated eyes 1 day after the operation and remained elevated in the vehicle-treated rats throughout 20 weeks. In THC-treated rats, IOP elevation in operated eyes was diminished 2 weeks after operation and remained reduced. IOP in the contralateral control eyes was not affected by THC. In the operated eyes of vehicle-treated animals, there was a loss of ∼50 and 40% of the RGCs in the peripheral and central retina, respectively. The RGC loss in the operated eyes of the THC-treated animals was reduced to 10–20%. These results demonstrate that THC is a neuroprotectant that preserves RGCs in an experimental model of glaucoma, possibly through a reduction in IOP.


  

Author Contacts

Dr. Gregory I. Liou
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College of Georgia
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912 (USA)
Tel. +1 706 721 4599, Fax +1 706 721 7913, E-Mail giliou@mcg.edu

  

Article Information

Received: March 17, 2006
Accepted after revision: September 14, 2006
Published online: February 2, 2007
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 51

  

Publication Details

Ophthalmic Research (Journal for Research in Experimental and Clinical Ophthalmology)

Vol. 39, No. 2, Year 2007 (Cover Date: March 2007)

Journal Editor: Pleyer, U. (Berlin)
ISSN: 0030–3747 (print), 1423–0259 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ORE


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 9/14/2006
Published online: 2/2/2007

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0030-3747 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0259 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ORE


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