The novel antioxidant SkQ1 as an effective protector
of rat eye tissues during long-term organotypic cultivation

E.N. Grigoryan1, Yu.P. Novikova1, O.V. Kilina2, P.P. Philippov2
1Kol'tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilova 26, Moscow 119991, Russia
2A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Vorobievy Gory 1, Moscow 119991, Russia


Cells posses by an array of the antioxidant mechanisms to clean harmful oxidants represented mainly by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Despite the antioxidant defense, ROS can cause serious damage to the neural retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), Bruch membrane and choroid, and finally brings to the development of different visual abnormalities. Among numerous sites of ROS generation in the cell, mitochondrial electron transport is of crucial importance. Recently, a novel strong antioxidant SkQ1, with the aim to clean the matrix space of mitochondria, "the dirtiest place in the cell" in respect of ROS, has been invented. The present study examines the SkQ1 effects upon tissues of the adult rat eye.
Preparations of the eye posterior sector, consisting of the complex RPE-choroid-sclera with or without the neural retina, were obtained from eyes of narcotized adult (2 3 months) albino rats and cultivated in a roller with or without of 20 nM SkQ1. After fixation of the cultivated sectors, their cross-sections were then investigated using methods of routine histology, immunohistochemistry and computer morphometric analyses.
It has been demonstrated that under ex vivo conditions of long-term roller cultivation of the eye posterior sector, 20 nM SkQ1 effectively prevents the layers of the neural retina from destruction and conserves its neurons. SkQ1 also decreases death of RPE and choroid cells and protects the RPE layer from disintegration and exhaustion caused by withdrawal and macrophagal transformation of RPE cells. In our ex vivo model, degenerative processes in the central part of the retina are much more pronounced than in its peripheral region that resembles the in vivo situation in which the central part of the retina, macula, is particularly susceptible to injury and degeneration of a different nature. Remarkably, the protective effects of SkQ1 upon the eye tissues during long-term roller cultivation are much more pronounced in the central part of the eye posterior sector in comparison with the sector periphery.
Therefore, under ex vivo conditions of long-term roller cultivation of the rat eye posterior sector, consisting of the complex RPE-choroid-sclera with or without the neural retina, 20 nM SkQ1 acts as a strong protective agent, preventing degenerative processes in the neural retina, RPE and choroid.

Homo Sapiens Liberatus Workshop, Moscow State University, May 2010

www.programmed-aging.org