PURPOSE. Sigma 1 receptor is a novel therapeutic target for retinal disease. Its activation, using a high-affinity, high-specificity ligand (+)-pentazocine ((+)-PTZ), rescues photoreceptor cells in the rd10 mouse model of RP. Here, we asked whether the robust retinal neuroprotective properties of (+)-PTZ are generalizable to SA4503 and PRE084, two other high-affinity sigma 1 receptor ligands. METHODS. We treated 661W cells with SA4503 or PRE084. Cell viability, oxidative stress, and expression of Nrf2 and NRF2-regulated antioxidant genes (Nqo1, Cat, and Sod1) were assessed. Rd10 mice were administered SA4503 (1 mg/kg), PRE084 (0.5 mg/kg), or (+)-PTZ (0.5 mg/kg). Visual acuity, retinal architecture, and retinal electrophysiologic function were measured in vivo and retinal structure was assessed histologically. RESULTS. Similar to (+)-PTZ, SA4503 and PRE084 improved cell viability, attenuated oxidative stress, and increased Nrf2, Nqo1 and Cat expression. Although treatment of rd10 mice with (+)-PTZ improved visual acuity, increased outer retinal thickness, and improved photopic a- and b-wave responses compared with nontreated rd10 mice, treatment with SA4503 or PRE084 did not. The number of photoreceptor nuclei/100 μm retinal length in SA4503- and PRE084-treated rd10 mice (approximately 11/100) did not differ significantly from nontreated rd10 mice, whereas (+)-PTZ-treated mice had significantly more nuclei (approximately 22/100 μm). CONCLUSIONS. Cell survival and gene regulation experiments yielded similar outcomes when SA4503, PRE084, or (+)-PTZ were conducted in vitro, however neither SA4503 or PRE084 afforded in vivo protection in the severe rd10 retinopathy model comparable to (+)-PTZ. Despite all three compounds demonstrating the potential to activate sigma 1 receptor, the retinal neuroprotective properties of the three ligands differ significantly.
- Retinal degeneration
- Sigma 1 receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience