Matrine protects retinal ganglion cells from apoptosis in experimental optic neuritis [post]

2019 unpublished
Inflammatory demyelination and axonal injury of the optic nerve are hallmarks of optic neuritis (ON), which often occurs in multiple sclerosis and is a major cause of blindness in young adults. Although a high dose of corticosteroids can promote visual recovery, it cannot prevent permanent neuronal damage. Novel and effective therapies are thus required. Given the recently defined capacity of matrine (MAT), a quinolizidine alkaloid derived from the herb Radix Sophorae flavescens, in
more » ... tion and neuroprotection, we tested in this study the effect of matrine on ON in rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Results: MAT administration, started at disease onset, significantly suppressed optic nerve infiltration and demyelination, with reduced numbers of Iba1+ macrophages/microglia and CD4+ T cells, compared to those from vehicle-treated rats. Increased expression of neurofilaments, an axon marker, and decreased apoptosis in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were also observed after MAT treatment. Conclusions: Taken as a whole, our results demonstrate that MAT attenuated inflammation, demyelination and axonal loss in the optic nerve, and protected RGCs from inflammation-induced cell death. MAT may therefore have potential as a novel treatment for this disease that causes blindness.
doi:10.21203/rs.2.13687/v1 fatcat:kftbw3qymfclbcewrv3xr5h4qe