Neuroprotective effect of Lycium barbarum on retina of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats: a preliminary study
Tongshang Ni, Guangwei Wei, Xuntao Yin, Xianghe Liu, Dianwei Liu
Folia Neuropathol 2013; 51 (2): 158-163
DOI (digital object identifier): 10.5114/fn.2013.35959
Hereditary retinal dystrophy usually leads to blindness. Using Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats as a hereditary retinal dystrophy model, we investigated the possible neuroprotective effects of the aqueous extract of dried Lycium barbarum (LBA). Sixty postnatal RCS rats were selected and randomly divided into a control group (CG, thirty rats) and an experimental group (EG). Ten days after birth, EG rats were treated by 1 mg/kg of LBA per day, and CG rats were normally fed. These rats were killed at postnatal day (P) 25, P35 and P50, and retinal tissue was prepared for analysis. Photoreceptor cells were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, TUNEL detection and Caspase-2 protein expression. We found that in rats at P25, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of EG was thicker and more photoreceptor cells survived. Meanwhile, the TUNEL expression in EG was obviously reduced compared with CG. The Caspase-2 positive cells were found in the ganglion cell layer and inner nuclear layer in both CG and EG at 25-50 postnatal days, but the expression in EG rats was significantly lower than in CG at P25. The results demonstrated that LBA might have a neuroprotective role on the retinal tissue of RCS rats at the early stage by protecting photoreceptors and inhibiting apoptosis involving Caspase-2 protein.
retinal degeneration, Lycium barbarum, apoptosis, RCS rat