Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):943-950. doi:10.7150/ijms.19391 This issue

Research Paper

Effects of Hypobaric Hypoxia on Rat Retina and Protective Response of Resveratrol to the Stress

Xiaorong Xin, Hong Dang, Xiaojing Zhao, Haohao Wang

Department of Ophthalmology, Qinghai Red Cross Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China

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Xin X, Dang H, Zhao X, Wang H. Effects of Hypobaric Hypoxia on Rat Retina and Protective Response of Resveratrol to the Stress. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):943-950. doi:10.7150/ijms.19391. Available from

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High-altitude retinopathy represents retinal functional changes associated with environmental challenges imposed by hypobaric hypoxia, but the detailed cellular and molecular mechanism underlying this process remains unclear. Our current investigation was to explore the effect of hypobaric hypoxia on the rat retina and determine whether resveratrol has a protective efficacy on the hypoxic damage to the retina. Experiment rats were randomly grouped as the control group, hypoxia group and resveratrol intervention group. The hypoxia group and the resveratrol intervention group were maintained in a low-pressure oxygen cabin, and the resveratrol intervention group was given daily intraperitoneal injections with resveratrol. We found that hypobaric hypoxia increased thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) and thioredoxin 2 (Trx2) expression in retinas, and resveratrol treatment significantly reversed these changes (P < 0.05, P < 0.05 respectively). In comparison with controls, hypoxia upregulated the mRNA expression levels of caspase3 (P < 0.001), caspase9 (P < 0.01), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) (P < 0.05), heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) (P < 0.001) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) (P < 0.05). Resveratrol administration caused a significant decrease in the gene expression of caspase3 (P< 0.001), HSP90 (P < 0.05) and HIF-1 mRNA (P < 0.01) as well as an increase in HSP70 mRNA when compared with the hypoxia group. These findings indicated that resveratrol exerted an anti-oxidative role by modulating hypoxia stress- associated genes and an anti-apoptosis role by regulating apoptosis-related cytokines. In conclusion, hypobaric hypoxia may have a pathological impact on rat retinas. The intervention of resveratrol reverses the effect induced by hypobaric hypoxia and elicits a protective response to the stress.

Keywords: Hypobaric hypoxia, Retina, Resveratrol, Caspase, Heat shock protein, Hypoxia-inducible factor-1.