Optimal timing for activation of sigma 1 receptor in the Pde6brd10/J (rd10) mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa

Jing Wang, Haiyan Xiao, Shannon Barwick, Yutao Liu, Sylvia B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sigma 1 Receptor (Sig1R), a pluripotent modulator of cell survival, is a promising target for treatment of retinal degenerative diseases. Previously, we reported that administration of the high-affinity, high-specificity Sig1R ligand (+)-pentazocine, ((+)-PTZ) beginning at post-natal day 14 (P14) and continuing every other day improves visual acuity and delays loss of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) in the Pde6βrd10/J (rd10) mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. Whether administration of (+)-PTZ, at time points concomitant with (P18) or following (P21, P24) onset of PRC death, would prove neuroprotective was investigated in this study. Rd10 mice were administered (+)-PTZ intraperitoneally [0.5 mg/kg], starting at either P14, P18, P21 or P24. Injections continued every other day through P42. Visual acuity was assessed using the optokinetic tracking response (OKR). Rd10 mice treated with (+)-PTZ beginning at P14 retained visual acuity for the duration of the study (~0.33 c/d at P21, ~0.38 c/d at P28, ~0.32 c/d at P35, ~0.32 c/d at P42), whereas mice injected beginning at P18, P21, P24 showed a decline in acuity when tested at P35 and P42. Their acuity was only slightly better than rd10-non-treated mice. Electrophysiologic function was assessed using scotopic and photopic electroretinography (ERG) to assess rod and cone function, respectively. Photopic a- and b-wave amplitudes were significantly greater in rd10 mice treated with (+)-PTZ beginning at P14 compared with non-treated mice and those in the later-onset (+)-PTZ injection groups. Retinal architecture was visualized in living mice using spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) allowing measurement of the total retinal thickness, the inner retina and the outer retina (the area most affected in rd10 mice). The outer retina measured ~35 μm in rd10 mice treated with (+)-PTZ beginning at P14, which was significantly greater than mice in the later-onset (+)-PTZ injection groups (~25 μm) and non-treated rd10 mice (~25 μm). Following the visual function studies performed in the living mice, eyes were harvested at P42 for histologic analysis. While the inner retina was largely intact in all (+)-PTZ-injection groups, there was a marked reduction in the outer retina of non-treated rd10 mice (e.g. in the outer nuclear layer there were ~10 PRCs/100 μm retinal length). The rd10 mice treated with (+)-PTZ beginning at P14 had ~20 PRCs/100 μm retinal length, whereas the mice in groups beginning P18, P21 and P24 had ~16 PRCs/100 μm retinal length. In conclusion, the data indicate that delaying (+)-PTZ injection past the onset of PRC death in rd10 mice – even by a few days – can negatively impact the long-term preservation of retinal function. Our findings suggest that optimizing the administration of Sig1R ligands is critical for retinal neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108397
JournalExperimental eye research
Volume202
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • ERG
  • OCT
  • Pentazocine
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Sigma 1 receptor
  • optomotry
  • rd10 mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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