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Neuroprotective effects of citicoline in in vitro models of retinal neurodegeneration.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
1422-0067
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
4
Pages
6286–6297
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms15046286
PMID: 24736780
Source
Medline

Abstract

In recent years, citicoline has been the object of remarkable interest as a possible neuroprotectant. The aim of this study was to investigate if citicoline affected cell survival in primary retinal cultures and if it exerted neuroprotective activity in conditions modeling retinal neurodegeneration. Primary retinal cultures, obtained from rat embryos, were first treated with increasing concentrations of citicoline (up to 1000 µM) and analyzed in terms of apoptosis and caspase activation and characterized by immunocytochemistry to identify neuronal and glial cells. Subsequently, excitotoxic concentration of glutamate or High Glucose-containing cell culture medium (HG) was administered as well-known conditions modeling neurodegeneration. Glutamate or HG treatments were performed in the presence or not of citicoline. Neuronal degeneration was evaluated in terms of apoptosis and loss of synapses. The results showed that citicoline did not cause any damage to the retinal neuroglial population up to 1000 µM. At the concentration of 100 µM, it was able to counteract neuronal cell damage both in glutamate- and HG-treated retinal cultures by decreasing proapoptotic effects and contrasting synapse loss. These data confirm that citicoline can efficiently exert a neuroprotective activity. In addition, the results suggest that primary retinal cultures, under conditions inducing neurodegeneration, may represent a useful system to investigate citicoline neuroprotective mechanisms.

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