Retinal neuroprotective effects of flibanserin, an FDA-Approved dual serotonin receptor agonist-antagonist

Aaron S. Coyner, Renee C. Ryals, Cristy A. Ku, Cody M. Fischer, Rachel C. Patel, Shreya Datta, Paul Yang, Yuquan Wen, René Hen, Mark Pennesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose To assess the neuroprotective effects of flibanserin (formerly BIMT-17), a dual 5-HT1A agonist and 5-HT2A antagonist, in a light-induced retinopathy model. Methods Albino BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with either vehicle or increasing doses of flibanserin ranging from 0.75 to 15 mg/kg flibanserin. To assess 5-HT1A -mediated effects, BALB/c mice were injected with 10 mg/kg WAY 100635, a 5-HT1A antagonist, prior to 6 mg/ kg flibanserin and 5-HT1A knockout mice were injected with 6 mg/kg flibanserin. Injections were administered once immediately prior to light exposure or over the course of five days. Light exposure lasted for one hour at an intensity of 10,000 lux. Retinal structure was assessed using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and retinal function was assessed using electroretinography. To investigate the mechanisms of flibanserin-mediated neuroprotection, gene expression, measured by RT-qPCR, was assessed following five days of daily 15 mg/kg flibanserin injections. Results A five-day treatment regimen of 3 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin significantly preserved outer retinal structure and function in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, a single-day treatment regimen of 6 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin still provided significant protection. The action of flibanserin was hindered by the 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY 100635, and was not effective in 5-HT1A knockout mice. Creb, c-Jun, c-Fos, Bcl-2, Cast1, Nqo1, Sod1, and Cat were significantly increased in flibanserin-injected mice versus vehicle-injected mice. Conclusions Intraperitoneal delivery of flibanserin in a light-induced retinopathy mouse model provides retinal neuroprotection. Mechanistic data suggests that this effect is mediated through 5-HT1A receptors and that flibanserin augments the expression of genes capable of reducing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Since flibanserin is already FDA-approved for other indications, the potential to repurpose this drug for treating retinal degenerations merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0159776
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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Serotonin Receptor Agonists
neuroprotective effect
Serotonin Antagonists
Neuroprotective Agents
agonists
antagonists
mice
retinal diseases
injection
electroretinography
gene expression
Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists
tomography
Light
dosage
albino
serotonin receptors
flibanserin
oxidative stress
Knockout Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Retinal neuroprotective effects of flibanserin, an FDA-Approved dual serotonin receptor agonist-antagonist. / Coyner, Aaron S.; Ryals, Renee C.; Ku, Cristy A.; Fischer, Cody M.; Patel, Rachel C.; Datta, Shreya; Yang, Paul; Wen, Yuquan; Hen, René; Pennesi, Mark.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 11, No. 7, e0159776, 01.07.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Coyner, Aaron S. ; Ryals, Renee C. ; Ku, Cristy A. ; Fischer, Cody M. ; Patel, Rachel C. ; Datta, Shreya ; Yang, Paul ; Wen, Yuquan ; Hen, René ; Pennesi, Mark. / Retinal neuroprotective effects of flibanserin, an FDA-Approved dual serotonin receptor agonist-antagonist. In: PLoS One. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 7.
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abstract = "Purpose To assess the neuroprotective effects of flibanserin (formerly BIMT-17), a dual 5-HT1A agonist and 5-HT2A antagonist, in a light-induced retinopathy model. Methods Albino BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with either vehicle or increasing doses of flibanserin ranging from 0.75 to 15 mg/kg flibanserin. To assess 5-HT1A -mediated effects, BALB/c mice were injected with 10 mg/kg WAY 100635, a 5-HT1A antagonist, prior to 6 mg/ kg flibanserin and 5-HT1A knockout mice were injected with 6 mg/kg flibanserin. Injections were administered once immediately prior to light exposure or over the course of five days. Light exposure lasted for one hour at an intensity of 10,000 lux. Retinal structure was assessed using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and retinal function was assessed using electroretinography. To investigate the mechanisms of flibanserin-mediated neuroprotection, gene expression, measured by RT-qPCR, was assessed following five days of daily 15 mg/kg flibanserin injections. Results A five-day treatment regimen of 3 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin significantly preserved outer retinal structure and function in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, a single-day treatment regimen of 6 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin still provided significant protection. The action of flibanserin was hindered by the 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY 100635, and was not effective in 5-HT1A knockout mice. Creb, c-Jun, c-Fos, Bcl-2, Cast1, Nqo1, Sod1, and Cat were significantly increased in flibanserin-injected mice versus vehicle-injected mice. Conclusions Intraperitoneal delivery of flibanserin in a light-induced retinopathy mouse model provides retinal neuroprotection. Mechanistic data suggests that this effect is mediated through 5-HT1A receptors and that flibanserin augments the expression of genes capable of reducing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Since flibanserin is already FDA-approved for other indications, the potential to repurpose this drug for treating retinal degenerations merits further investigation.",
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AU - Ku, Cristy A.

AU - Fischer, Cody M.

AU - Patel, Rachel C.

AU - Datta, Shreya

AU - Yang, Paul

AU - Wen, Yuquan

AU - Hen, René

AU - Pennesi, Mark

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N2 - Purpose To assess the neuroprotective effects of flibanserin (formerly BIMT-17), a dual 5-HT1A agonist and 5-HT2A antagonist, in a light-induced retinopathy model. Methods Albino BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with either vehicle or increasing doses of flibanserin ranging from 0.75 to 15 mg/kg flibanserin. To assess 5-HT1A -mediated effects, BALB/c mice were injected with 10 mg/kg WAY 100635, a 5-HT1A antagonist, prior to 6 mg/ kg flibanserin and 5-HT1A knockout mice were injected with 6 mg/kg flibanserin. Injections were administered once immediately prior to light exposure or over the course of five days. Light exposure lasted for one hour at an intensity of 10,000 lux. Retinal structure was assessed using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and retinal function was assessed using electroretinography. To investigate the mechanisms of flibanserin-mediated neuroprotection, gene expression, measured by RT-qPCR, was assessed following five days of daily 15 mg/kg flibanserin injections. Results A five-day treatment regimen of 3 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin significantly preserved outer retinal structure and function in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, a single-day treatment regimen of 6 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin still provided significant protection. The action of flibanserin was hindered by the 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY 100635, and was not effective in 5-HT1A knockout mice. Creb, c-Jun, c-Fos, Bcl-2, Cast1, Nqo1, Sod1, and Cat were significantly increased in flibanserin-injected mice versus vehicle-injected mice. Conclusions Intraperitoneal delivery of flibanserin in a light-induced retinopathy mouse model provides retinal neuroprotection. Mechanistic data suggests that this effect is mediated through 5-HT1A receptors and that flibanserin augments the expression of genes capable of reducing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Since flibanserin is already FDA-approved for other indications, the potential to repurpose this drug for treating retinal degenerations merits further investigation.

AB - Purpose To assess the neuroprotective effects of flibanserin (formerly BIMT-17), a dual 5-HT1A agonist and 5-HT2A antagonist, in a light-induced retinopathy model. Methods Albino BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with either vehicle or increasing doses of flibanserin ranging from 0.75 to 15 mg/kg flibanserin. To assess 5-HT1A -mediated effects, BALB/c mice were injected with 10 mg/kg WAY 100635, a 5-HT1A antagonist, prior to 6 mg/ kg flibanserin and 5-HT1A knockout mice were injected with 6 mg/kg flibanserin. Injections were administered once immediately prior to light exposure or over the course of five days. Light exposure lasted for one hour at an intensity of 10,000 lux. Retinal structure was assessed using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and retinal function was assessed using electroretinography. To investigate the mechanisms of flibanserin-mediated neuroprotection, gene expression, measured by RT-qPCR, was assessed following five days of daily 15 mg/kg flibanserin injections. Results A five-day treatment regimen of 3 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin significantly preserved outer retinal structure and function in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, a single-day treatment regimen of 6 to 15 mg/kg of flibanserin still provided significant protection. The action of flibanserin was hindered by the 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY 100635, and was not effective in 5-HT1A knockout mice. Creb, c-Jun, c-Fos, Bcl-2, Cast1, Nqo1, Sod1, and Cat were significantly increased in flibanserin-injected mice versus vehicle-injected mice. Conclusions Intraperitoneal delivery of flibanserin in a light-induced retinopathy mouse model provides retinal neuroprotection. Mechanistic data suggests that this effect is mediated through 5-HT1A receptors and that flibanserin augments the expression of genes capable of reducing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Since flibanserin is already FDA-approved for other indications, the potential to repurpose this drug for treating retinal degenerations merits further investigation.

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