Retinal oxidative stress induced by high intraocular pressure

Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Sep 15;37(6):803-12. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2004.06.001.


Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy in which retinal ganglion cells die probably through an apoptotic process. Apoptosis is known to involve free radicals in several systems including the retina. In this context, the aim of the present work was to analyze retinal oxidative damage in rats with glaucoma induced by the chronic injection of hyaluronic acid in the eye anterior chamber. The results showed a significant decrease in total retinal superoxide dismutase and catalase activities after 6 and 3 weeks of treatment with hyaluronic acid, respectively. Also, although GPX activity increased after 10 weeks of ocular hypertension, GSH levels significantly decreased at 6 weeks of treatment with hyaluronic acid. Moreover, retinal lipid peroxidation significantly increased in a time-of-hypertension-dependent manner. On the other hand, a significant decrease in both diurnal and nocturnal retinal melatonin content was detected at 3, 6, or 10 weeks of treatment with hyaluronic acid. The present results suggest that retinal oxidative stress may be involved in glaucomatous cell death. Thus, manipulation of intracellular redox status using antioxidants may be a new therapeutic tool to prevent glaucomatous neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Free Radicals
  • Glaucoma / metabolism
  • Glaucoma / pathology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Melatonin / metabolism
  • Ocular Hypertension*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Glutathione
  • Melatonin