Rasagiline has a neuroprotective effect on RGC survival in glaucomatous rats

July 4, 2011

Rasagiline can be used as a systematic treatment to improve chances of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival in glaucomatous eyes

Rasagiline can be used as a systematic treatment to improve chances of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival in glaucomatous eyes, according to a study featured in the Journal of Glaucoma.

A team led by Dr Hani Levkovitch-Verbin, Goldschleger Eye Institute, Tel Hashomer, Israel, injected the anti-Parkison disease drug into Wistar rats. The rats were split into a 3mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg group and a saline-treated group.

Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured before and after the injections and weekly for seven weeks. All the rats were killed and their eyes were enucleated and the retinas were set up as whole mounts. Ten days before enucleation fluoro-gold was injected into the superior colliculus. To calulate RGC survival the remaining labelled RGCs were counted in a masked way.

All of the rats presented with a significantly higher IOP and RGC damage. The mean RGC survival rate was 43±8% in the rasagiline 3 mg/kg-treated group and 43±9% in the rasagiline 0.5 mg/kg-treated group. This was compared with 23%±4% in the saline-treated (control) group.