Effects of alpha-lipoic acid on retinal ganglion cells, retinal thicknesses, and VEGF production in an experimental model of diabetes

Session Details

Session Title: Free Paper Session 23: Vascular Diseases & Diabetic Retinopathy VI

Session Date/Time: Sunday 10/09/2017 | 08:00-09:30

Paper Time: 08:30

Venue: Room 120

First Author: : E.Kan TURKEY

Co Author(s): :    E. Kilic Kan                             

Abstract Details


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) on the thicknesses of various retinal layers and on the numbers of retinal ganglion cells and vascular endothelial growth factor levels in experimental diabetic mouse retinas.


Experimental study


Twenty-one male BALB/C mice were made diabetic by the intraperitoneal administration of streptozotocin (200 mg/kg). One week after the induction of diabetes, the mice were divided randomly into three groups: control group (non-diabetic mice treated with alpha-lipoic acid, n=7), diabetic group (diabetic mice without treatment, n = 7), and alpha-lipoic acid treatment group (diabetic mice with alphalipoic acid treatment, n=7). At the end of the 8th week, the thicknesses of the inner nuclear layer (INL), outer nuclear layer (ONL), and full-length retina were measured; also retinal ganglion cells and VEGF expressions were counted on the histological sections of the mouse retinas and compared with each other.


The thicknesses of the full-length retina, ONL, and INL were significantly reduced in the diabetic group compared to the control and ALA treatment groups (p = 0.001), whereas the thicknesses of these layers did not show a significant difference between ALA treatment and control groups. The number of ganglion cells in the diabetic group was significantly lower than those in the control and ALA treatment groups (p = 0.001). The VEGF expression was significantly higher in the diabetic group and mostly observed in the ganglion cell and inner nuclear layers compared to the control and ALA treatment groups (p = 0.001). Therefore, the number of ganglion cells and VEGF levels did not show significant differences between the ALA treatment and control groups (p = 0.7).


Our results show that alpha-lipoic acid treatment may have an impact on reducing VEGF levels, protecting ganglion cells, and preserving the thicknesses of the inner and outer layers in diabetic mouse retinas.

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