Author(s): Hara R, Inomata Y, Kawaji T, Sagara N, Inatani M,
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Abstract PURPOSE: N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a potent antioxidant known to be a precursor of glutathione. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of NAC in the development of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). METHODS: CNV was induced in C57BL/6 mice by laser photocoagulation of the ocular fundus. Mice were injected intraperitoneally with NAC or vehicle alone. The levels of 4-hydoroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE)-modified protein and nucleus factor (NF)-κB were determined by wester blotting. The recruitment of macrophages and neutrophils after laser injury was analyzed immunohistochemically and in myeloperoxidase (MPO) assays. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to measure monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, CXCL1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1, and VEGFR-2. The extent of CNV was evaluated 7 d after laser injury by lectin staining. RESULTS: In NAC-treated mice with laser-induced injuries, the induction of 4-HNE-modified protein after 3 hr and the activation of NF-κB in nuclear extracts after 6 hr were markedly suppressed compared to vehicle-treated mice. Macrophage and neutrophil recruitment were inhibited and the levels of MCP-1, CXCL1, VEGF, and VEGFR-1 were also lower in NAC-treated mice compared to vehicle-treated mice. Furthermore, the extent of CNV induced was significantly lower in NAC-treated compared to vehicle-treated mice (p = 0.027). CONCLUSIONS: Our results clearly showed that NAC inhibited indicators of oxidative stress and the activation of NF-κB induced by laser injury, and, consequently, suppressed macrophage and neutrophil infiltration and the development of CNV. This suggests novel preventative and interventional therapeutic strategies for age-related macular degeneration.
This article was published in Curr Eye Res
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine