P2X7 receptor antagonism preserves retinal ganglion cells in glaucomatous mice

Giovanni Luca Romano, Rosario Amato, Francesca Lazzara, Vittorio Porciatti, Tsung Han Chou, Filippo Drago, Claudio Bucolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of P2X7 receptor to preserve retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) structure and function in a genetic mouse model (DBA/2J mouse) of age-related glaucomatous neurodegeneration. Chronic treatment with P2X7 receptor antagonist eye drops was carried out in order to assess RGCs function and density by pattern electroretinogram (PERG) and RBPMS immunostaining, respectively. Further, microglia activation was assessed in flat-mounted retina by using Iba-1 immunostaining. Untreated glaucomatous eyes displayed significant microglia activation, alteration of PERG signal, and RGCs loss. In the P2X7 receptor antagonist-treated eyes, the PERG signal was significantly (p < 0.05) improved compared to controls, along with a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in terms of retinal microglial activation, and remarkable preservation of RGCs density. Altogether, these findings demonstrated that topical treatment with a P2X7 receptor antagonist has a neuroprotective effect on RGCs in glaucomatous mice, suggesting an appealing pharmacological approach to prevent retinal degenerative damage in optic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114199
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Glaucoma
  • P2X7 receptor
  • PERG
  • Retinal ganglion cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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