Retinal ischemia-related eye diseases result in visual dysfunction. This study investigates the protective effects and mechanisms of Xue-Fu-Zhu-Yu decoction (XFZYD) with respect to retinal ischemia.
Retinal ischemia (I) was induced in Wistar rats by a high intraocular pressure (HIOP) of 120 mmHg for 1 h, which was followed by reperfusion of the ischemic eye; the fellow untreated eye acted as a control. Electroretinogram (ERG), biochemistry and histopathology investigations were performed.
Significant ischemic changes occurred after ischemia including decreased ERG b-wave ratios, less numerous retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), reduced inner retinal thickness, fewer choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) labeled amacrine cell bodies, increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity and increased vimentin Müller immunolabeling. These were accompanied by significant increases in the mRNA/protein concentrations of vascular endothelium growth factor, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, pyruvate kinase M2 and retinoblastoma-binding protein 2. The ischemic changes were concentration-dependently and significantly altered when XFZYD was given for seven consecutive days before or after retina ischemia, compared to vehicle. These alterations included enhanced ERG b-wave amplitudes, more numerous RGCs, enhanced inner retinal thickness, a greater number of ChAT immunolabeled amacrine cell bodies and decreased GFAP/vimentin immunoreactivity. Furthermore, decreased mRNA levels of VEGF, HIF-1α, PKM2, and RBP2 were also found. Reduced protein concentrations of VEGF, HIF-1α, PKM2, and RBP2 were also demonstrated. Furthermore, there was an inhibition of the ischemia-associated increased ratios (target protein/β-actin) in the protein levels of VEGF, HIF-1α, PKM2, and RBP2, which were induced by Shikonin, JIB-04 or Avastin.
XFZYD would seem to protect against well-known retinal ischemic changes via a synergistic inhibition of RBP2 and PKM2, as well as down-regulation of HIF-1α and a reduction in VEGF secretion.