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A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the benzoquinone idebenone in a mouse model of OPA1-related dominant optic atrophy reveals a limited therapeutic effect on retinal ganglion cell dendropathy and visual function

Smith, T. G., Seto, S., Ganne, P. and Votruba, Marcela 2016. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the benzoquinone idebenone in a mouse model of OPA1-related dominant optic atrophy reveals a limited therapeutic effect on retinal ganglion cell dendropathy and visual function. Neuroscience 319 , pp. 92-106. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.01.042

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Abstract

Dominant optic atrophy (DOA) arises from mutations in the OPA1 gene that promotes fusion of the inner mitochondrial membrane and plays a role in maintaining ATP levels. Patients display optic disc pallor, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and bilaterally reduced vision. We report a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of idebenone at 2000 mg/kg/day in 56 Opa1 mutant mice (B6;C3-Opa1Q285STOP), with RGC dendropathy and visual loss, and 63 wildtype mice. We assessed cellular responses in the retina, brain and liver and RGC morphology, by diolistic labeling, Sholl analysis and quantification of dendritic morphometric features. Vision was assessed by optokinetic responses. ATP levels were raised by 0.57 nmol/mg (97.73%, p = 0.035) in brain from idebenone-treated Opa1 mutant mice, but in the liver there was an 80.35% (p = 0.011) increase in oxidative damage. NQO1 expression in Opa1 mutant mice was reduced in the brain (to 30.5%, p = 0.002) but not in retina, and neither expression level was induced by idebenone. ON-center RGCs failed to show major recovery, other than improvements in secondary dendritic length (by 53.89%, p = 0.052) and dendritic territory (by 2.22 × 104 μm2 or 90.24%, p = 0.074). An improvement in optokinetic response was observed (by 12.2 ± 3.2 s, p = 0.003), but this effect was not sustained over time. OFF-center RGCs from idebenone-treated wildtype mice showed shrinkage in total dendritic length by 2.40 mm (48.05%, p = 0.025) and a 47.37% diminished Sholl profile (p = 0.029). Visual function in wildtype idebenone-treated mice was impaired (2.9 fewer head turns than placebo, p = 0.007). Idebenone appears largely ineffective in protecting Opa1 heterozygous RGCs from dendropathy. The detrimental effect of idebenone in wildtype mice has not been previously observed and raises some concerns.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Uncontrolled Keywords: dominant optic atrophy; idebenone; NQO1; retinal ganglion cell; OPA1; mitochondria
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0306-4522
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 19 January 2016
Last Modified: 14 May 2019 12:44
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/88576

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