Treatment of laser-induced retinal injuries by neuroprotection

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Retinal laser photocoagulation treatments are often complicated with immediate side-effect of visual impairment. To determine whether glutamate-receptor blockers can serve as adjuvant neuroprotective therapy, we examined the effect of MK-801, an NMDA-receptor antagonist, on laser-induced retinal injury in a rat model. Argon laser retinal lesions were created in the retina of 36 DA rats. Treatment with intraperitoneal injections of MK-801 or saline was started immediately after the laser photocoagulation. The animals were sacrificed after 3, 20 or 60 days and the retinal lesions were evaluated histologically and morphometrically. Photoreceptor-cell loss was significantly smaller in MK-801-treated rats than controls. The proliferative membrane composed of retinal pigment epithelial cells which was seen at the base of the lesion in control retinas, was smaller in the MK-801-treated retinas. MK-801 exhibited neuroprotective and anti-proliferative properties in the retina. Glutamate-receptor blockers should be further investigated for serving as adjuvant therapy to retinal photocoagulation treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
EventLaser and Noncoherent Ocular Effects: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 10 Feb 199710 Feb 1997


  • Glutamate
  • Laser photocoagulation
  • MX-801
  • NMDA
  • Retina


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