PURPOSE: To test whether the topical eye treatment with BDNF prevents the effects of continuous light exposure (LE) in the albino rat retina. METHODS: Two groups of albino rats were used. The first group of rats received an intraocular injection of BDNF (2 μL, 1 μg/μL) before LE, while the second group was treated with one single drop of BDNF (10 μL, 12 μg/μL) dissolved in different types of solutions (physiological solution, the polysaccharide fraction of Tamarind gum, TSP, and sodium carboxy methyl cellulose), at the level of conjunctival fornix before LE. The level of BDNF in the retina and optic nerve was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We recorded the flash electroretinogram (fERG) in dark adapted rats 1 week after LE. At the end of the recording session, the retinas were removed and labeled so that the number of photoreceptors nuclear rows and thickness of the outer nuclear layer was analyzed. RESULTS: Intravitreal injection of BDNF before LE prevented fERG impairment. Different ophthalmic preparations were used for topical eye application; the TSP resulted the most suitable vehicle to increase BDNF level in the retina and optic nerve. Topical eye application with BDNF/TSP before LE partially preserved both fERG response and photoreceptors. CONCLUSIONS: Topical eye treatment with BDNF represents a suitable, noninvasive tool to increase the retinal content of BDNF up to a level capable of exerting neuroprotection toward photoreceptors injured by prolonged LE. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: A collyrium containing BDNF may serve as an effective, clinically translational treatment against retinal degeneration.
- photoreceptors degeneration
- topical eye treatment