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- PublicationBrain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor as a Treatment Option for Retinal DegenerationThis review discusses the therapeutic potential of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for retinal degeneration. BDNF, nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) and NT-4/NT-5 belong to the neurotrophin family. These neuronal modulators activate a common receptor and a specific tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) receptor. BDNF was identified as a photoreceptor protectant in models of retinal degeneration as early as 1992. However, development of effective therapeutics that exploit this pathway has been difficult due to challenges in sustaining therapeutic levels in the retina.
181Scopus© Citations 12
- PublicationA brain-derived neurotrophic factor mimetic is sufficient to restore cone photoreceptor visual function in an inherited blindness modelControversially, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are in clinical trial for the treatment of inherited retinal degeneration. Utilizing the zebrafish dyeucd6 model, we determined if treatment with HDACi can rescue cone photoreceptor-mediated visual function. dye exhibit defective visual behaviour and retinal morphology including ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) cell death and decreased photoreceptor outer segment (OS) length, as well as gross morphological defects including hypopigmentation and pericardial oedema. HDACi treatment of dye results in significantly improved optokinetic (OKR) (~43 fold, p < 0.001) and visualmotor (VMR) (~3 fold, p < 0.05) responses. HDACi treatment rescued gross morphological defects and reduced CMZ cell death by 80%. Proteomic analysis of dye eye extracts suggested BDNF-TrkB and Akt signaling as mediators of HDACi rescue inour dataset. Cotreatment with the TrkB antagonist ANA-12 blocked HDACi rescue of visual function and associated Akt phosphorylation. Notably, sole treatment with a BDNF mimetic, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone hydrate, significantly rescued dye visual function (~58 fold increase in OKR, p < 0.001, ~3 fold increase in VMR, p < 0.05). In summary, HDACi and a BDNF mimetic are sufficient to rescue retinal cell death and visual function in a vertebrate model of inherited blindness.
544Scopus© Citations 22
- PublicationHistone Deacetylase: Therapeutic Targets in Retinal DegenerationPrevious studies report that retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) valproic acid (VPA) present with improved visual fields and delayed vision loss. However, other studies report poor efficacy and safety of HDACi in other cohorts of retinal degeneration patients. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms by which HDACi can improve visual function is unknown, albeit HDACi can attenuate pro-apoptotic stimuli and induce expression of neuroprotective factors. Thus, further analysis of HDACi is warranted in pre-clinical models of retinal degeneration including zebrafish. Analysis of HDAC expression in developing zebrafish reveals diverse temporal expression patterns during development and maturation of visual function.
141Scopus© Citations 11