Preserving Retinal Structure and Function with the Novel Nitroxide Antioxidant, DCTEIO

Cassie L Rayner, Steven E Bottle, Alexander P Martyn, Nigel L Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Oxidative stress is a major contributor to progressive neurodegenerative disease and may be a key target for the development of novel preventative and therapeutic strategies. Nitroxides have been successfully utilised to study changes in redox status (biological probes) and modulate radical-induced oxidative stress. This study investigates the efficacy of DCTEIO (5,6-dicarboxy-1,1,3,3-tetraethyllisoindolin-2-yloxyl), a stable, kinetically-persistent, nitroxide-based antioxidant, as a retinal neuroprotectant. The preservation of retinal function following an acute ischaemic/reperfusion (I/R) insult in the presence of DCTEIO was quantified by electroretinography (ERG). Inflammatory responses in retinal glia were analysed by GFAP and IBA-1 immunohistochemistry, and retinal integrity assessed by histology. A nitroxide probe combined with flow cytometry provided a rapid technique to assess oxidative stress and the mitigation offered by antioxidant compounds in cultured 661W photoreceptor cells. DCTEIO protected the retina from I/R-induced damage, maintaining retinal function. Histological analysis showed preservation of retinal integrity with reduced disruption and disorganisation of the inner and outer nuclear layers. I/R injury upregulated GFAP expression, indicative of retinal stress, which was significantly blunted by DCTEIO. The number of 'activated' microglia, particularly in the outer retina, in response to cellular stress was also significantly reduced by DCTEIO, potentially suggesting reduced inflammasome activation and cell death. DCTEIO mitigated oxidative stress in 661W retinal cell cultures, in a dose-dependent fashion. Together these findings demonstrate the potential of DCTEIO as a neuroprotective therapeutic for degenerative diseases of the CNS that involve an ROS-mediated component, including those of the retina e.g. age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3402-3419
Number of pages18
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number11
Early online date14 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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