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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2017, Article ID 9760501, 12 pages
Research Article

The Involvement of β-Catenin/COX-2/VEGF Axis in NMDA-Caused Retinopathy

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, South-Central University for Nationalities, No.182, Minyuan Road, Wuhan 430074, China
2Chongqing Center for Drug Evaluation and Certification, No. 76 Changjiang Yi Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400042, China
3Research Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518057, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yu-Sang Li; nc.ude.ceucs.liam@6002syil

Received 28 March 2017; Revised 31 July 2017; Accepted 15 August 2017; Published 12 October 2017

Academic Editor: Terri L. Young

Copyright © 2017 Dan Ning et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


NMDA, a molecule that is capable of producing the loss of retinal ganglia cells (RGCs), has been widely studied; however, the detailed mechanism is not yet clarified. Previously, Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been suggested to be involved in the NMDA-induced retinopathy. In addition, previous investigations in our group demonstrated the presence of a Wnt/β-catenin/COX-2 axis in dorsal root ganglions (DRGs). Therefore, here in this paper, we tested whether there is an association of such axis with NMDA-induced RGC loss. Rat retinal damage models generated by intravitreal injection of NMDA were used to measure the expression levels of β-catenin, COX-2, and VEGF in retinas, and the neuron numbers of the retinal GCL of rats were counted. Then, pharmacological tools (MK801, a NMDA receptor inhibitor; Dickkopf homolog 1, a specific inhibitor of the Wnt pathway; NS-398, a COX-2 inhibitor; and bevacizumab, IVB, a VEGF inhibitor) were introduced to evaluate the detailed roles of Wnt/β-catenin, COX-2, and VEGF in retinopathy of rats. Results demonstrated that all three factors in sequence are positively regulated neuronal loss induced by NMDA. These observations indicated that the Wnt pathway/COX-2/VEGF axis plays a pathogenic role in retinopathy and represented novel therapeutic targets.