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Oxidative stress increases in retinas of dogs in acute glaucoma but not in chronic glaucoma




To test the hypothesis that oxidative stress occurs early in the pathogenesis of glaucoma in dogs.


Sections from eight control retinas and 25 retinas from dogs with primary glaucoma.


For retinas embedded in paraffin, sections were immunohistochemically stained for malondialdehyde (MDA) and 3-nitrotyrosine (NT). For retinas embedded in plastic, serial 0.5-μm sections were immunogold-stained for total glutathione, taurine, and glutamate.


Increased immunostaining for MDA and NT, markers of oxidative stress, occurred in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other neurons in acute glaucoma, but not in chronic glaucoma. In minimally damaged regions, immunostaining for the antioxidant glutathione was decreased in RGCs, neurons of the inner nuclear layer (INL), and Müller cell processes. The loss of glutathione immunostaining in RGCs occurred without a decrease in glutamate immunostaining. Neurons with nuclear damage in the INL had low levels of glutathione, taurine, and glutamate. In severely damaged regions, immunostaining for glutathione was increased in the remaining retinal tissue.


Immunohistochemical staining revealed an increase in markers of oxidative stress and loss of glutathione in neurons with minimal damage during acute glaucoma. Oxidative changes were no longer present in chronic glaucomatous retinas, suggesting transient oxidative stress occurs early in glaucoma. The loss of glutathione in minimally damaged regions occurred without a significant redistribution of glutamate, suggesting oxidative stress may occur before glutamate redistribution. Alteration in markers of oxidative stress occurs early in canine glaucoma, suggesting oxidative stress may contribute to subsequent glutamate redistribution and other damaging processes.