Survival of Dopaminergic Amacrine Cells after Near-Infrared Light Treatment in MPTP-Treated Mice

ISRN Neurol. 2012;2012:850150. doi: 10.5402/2012/850150. Epub 2012 May 30.


We examined whether near-infrared light (NIr) treatment (photobiomodulation) saves dopaminergic amacrine cells of the retina in an acute and a chronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson disease. For the acute model, BALB/c mice had MPTP (100 mg/kg) or saline injections over 30 hours, followed by a six-day-survival period. For the chronic model, mice had MPTP (200 mg/kg) or saline injections over five weeks, followed by a three-week-survival period. NIr treatment was applied either at the same time (simultaneous series) or well after (posttreatment series) the MPTP insult. There were four groups within each series: Saline, Saline-NIr, MPTP, and MPTP-NIr. Retinae were processed for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunochemistry, and cell number was analysed. In the MPTP groups, there was a significant reduction in TH(+) cell number compared to the saline controls; this reduction was greater in the acute (~50%) compared to the chronic (~30%) cases. In the MPTP-NIr groups, there were significantly more TH(+) cells than in the MPTP groups of both series (~30%). In summary, we showed that NIr treatment was able to both protect (simultaneous series) and rescue (posttreatment series) TH(+) cells of the retina from parkinsonian insult.