Haem oxygenase-l gene transfer protects retinal ganglion cells from ischaemia/reperfusion injury

Pai Huei Peng, K. O. Mei-Lan, Chau Fong Chen, Shu Hui Juan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


RGC (retinal ganglion cell) death following ischaemic insult is the major cause of a number of vision- threatening diseases, including glaucoma. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of HO-1 (haem oxygenase-1) in the retina against IR (ischaemia/reperfusion) injury. Adenovirus- mediated HO-1 gene transfer (Adv-HO-1) was carried out by injection into the vitreous body to induce HO-1 overexpression. At 3 weeks after transfection, levels of HO-1 expression, as measured by Western blot analysis, immunohistochemical staining and activity assay, were drastically up-regulated. Transient retinal ischaemia was induced by raising the intraocular pressure to 150 mmHg for 60 min. Untreated IR caused a significant decrease in RGC numbers at 3 and 7 days after reperfusion (76.1 and 67.2% of control eyes with sham IR respectively; P < 0.001). Eyes pretreated with Adv-HO-1 had less RGC loss on day 3 and 7 following reperfusion compared with control eyes injected with Adv-GFP (adenovirus containing a gene for green fluorescent protein; 94.3 and 88.2% respectively; P = 0.007 and 0.001). SnP (tin protoporphyrin), an HO-1 inhibitor, counteracted the effects of Adv-HO-1. In conclusion, these findings provide evidence that augmentation of HO-1 enzyme overexpression by intravitreal injection is able to protect RGCs against IR-induced damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Adenovirus
  • Gene therapy
  • Haem oxygenase
  • Ischaemia/reperfusion
  • Ocular disease
  • Retinal ganglion cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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