The current study was undertaken to investigate whether histone deacetylases (HDACs) can modulate the viability of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and the activity of glial cells in a mouse model of retinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to constant elevation of intraocular pressure for 60 min to induce retinal IR injury. Expression of macroglial and microglial cell markers (GFAP and Iba1), hypoxia inducing factor (HIF)-1α, and histone acetylation was analyzed after IR injury. To investigate the role of HDACs in the activation of glial cells, overexpression of HDAC1 and HDAC2 isoforms was performed. To determine the effect of HDAC inhibition on RGC survival, trichostatin-A (TSA, 2.5 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally. After IR injury, retinal GFAP, Iba1, and HIF-1α were upregulated. Conversely, retinal histone acetylation was downregulated. Notably, adenoviral-induced overexpression of HDAC2 enhanced glial activation following IR injury, whereas overexpression of HDAC1 did not significantly affect glial activation. TSA treatment significantly increased RGC survival after IR injury. Our results suggest that increased activity of HDAC2 is closely related to glial activation in a mouse model of retinal IR injury and inhibition of HDACs by TSA showed neuroprotective potential in retinas with IR injuries.
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