7,8-Dihydroxyflavone protects retinal ganglion cells against chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced oxidative stress damage via activation of the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway.
Sleep Breath. 2021 May 15. Epub 2021 May 15. PMID: 33993395
PURPOSE: Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) plays a key role in the complications of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is strongly associated with retinal and optic nerve diseases. Additionally, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) signaling pathway plays an important protective role in neuronal injury. In the present study, we investigated the role of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) in regulating CIH-induced injury in mice retinas and rat primary retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).
METHODS: C57BL/6 mice and in vitro primary RGCs were exposed to CIH or normoxia and treated with or without 7,8-DHF. The mice eyeballs or cultured cells were then taken for histochemistry, immunofluorescence or biochemistry, and the protein expression of the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway analysis.
RESULTS: Our results showed that CIH induced oxidative stress (OS) in in vivo and in vitro models and inhibited the conversion of BDNF precursor (pro-BDNF) to a mature form of BDNF, which increased neuronal cell apoptosis. 7,8-DHF reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by CIH and effectively activated TrkB signals and downstream protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) survival signaling pathways, which upregulated the expression of mature BDNF. ANA-12 (a TrkB specific inhibitor) blocked the protective effect of 7,8-DHF.
CONCLUSION: In short, the activation of the BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway alleviated CIH-induced oxidative stress damage of the optic nerve and retinal ganglion cells. 7,8-DHF may serve as a promising agent for OSA related neuropathy.