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l-Serine Protects Murine Retinal Ganglion Cells from Oxidative Stress via Modulation of Mitochondrial Dysfunction.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the effects of l-serine on mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal ganglion cells after exposure to H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress.

METHODS: Retinal ganglion cells obtained from C57BL6 mice (postnatal days 1-4) were purified and cultured. A cell viability assay was performed following exposure to H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress to assess the cytoprotective effects of l-serine on retinal ganglion cells. Flow cytometry with CellROX Deep Red and MitoSOX dyes was performed to analyze the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels, respectively. Staining with the fluorescent probe JC-1 was used to detect changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential. The oxygen consumption rate and Bioenergetic Health Index were used to evaluate mitochondrial respiration.

RESULTS: H2 O2 treatment was found to induce mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal ganglion cells. Pretreatment with l-serine prevented cytotoxicity and significantly increased the viability of retinal ganglion cells following exposure to H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress ( p  < .05). l-Serine alleviated reactive oxygen species production in retinal ganglion cells following exposure to H2 O2 -induced oxidative ( p  < .05). Further, it successfully mitigated H2 O2 -induced mitochondrial depolarization in retinal ganglion cells ( p  < .05) and significantly increased the oxygen consumption rate and Bioenergetic Health Index in retinal ganglion cells following exposure to H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress ( p  < .05).

CONCLUSION: Pretreatment with l-serine protected retinal ganglion cells from H2 O2 -induced oxidative stress by improving mitochondrial function. The findings of the present study suggest that l-serine is a potential candidate for treatment of reactive oxygen species-related ocular diseases such as mitochondrial optic neuropathies.

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