The present study demonstrates capacity of α-MSH to augment recovery from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced retinal damage in vivo and correlation of its protective effects with expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Used techniques include ocular ischemia and reperfusion, electroretinography, histology, electron microscopy, and molecular-biological techniques. The results demonstrate the α-MSH-mediated inhibition of I/R-induced functional deterioration of the retina. Outcomes suggest that the protective effects of α-MSH occur mainly through HO-1-dependent pathways but HO-1-independent mechanisms may also contribute to protection. The observation that post-ischemic treatment with α-MSH exhibits therapeutic efficacy in the same range as pre-ischemic treatment, is a novel result. This outcome suggests a highly conserved protective role for α-MSH as a major stress response mechanism - and offers the possibility for development of novel therapeutic strategies utilizing this hormone, in particular in treatment of conditions resulting from I/R injury, such as deterioration of retinal microcirculation. The merit of the study lies in the fact that I/R injury contribute significantly to the severity of retinopathies. However, currently there are no evidence-based treatments for retinal I/R injury available for clinical use. Our finding suggests that α-MSH may have a very wide range of uses in the prevention of I/R-mediated pathologies.
- Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone
- Heme oxygenase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience