N-acetylserotonin alleviates retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury via HMGB1/RAGE/NF-κB pathway in rats

Yu Ze Zhao, Xue Ning Zhang, Yi Yin, Pei Lun Xiao, Meng Gao, Lu Ming Zhang, Shuan Hu Zhou, Shu Na Yu, Xiao Li Wang, Yan Song Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


• AIM: To observe the effects of N-acetylserotonin (NAS) administration on retinal ischemia-reperfusion (RIR) injury in rats and explore the underlying mechanisms involving the high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)/receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE)/nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. • METHODS: A rat model of RIR was developed by increasing the pressure of the anterior chamber of the eye. Eighty male Sprague Dawley were randomly divided into five groups: sham group (n=8), RIR group (n=28), RIR+NAS group (n=28), RIR+FPS-ZM1 group (n=8) and RIR+NAS+ FPS-ZM1 group (n=8). The therapeutic effects of NAS were examined by hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining, and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) counting. The expression of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), HMGB1, RAGE, and nod-like receptor 3 (NLRP3) proteins and the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (p-NF-κB) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry staining and Western blot analysis. The expression of HMGB1 protein was also detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). • RESULTS: H&E staining results showed that NAS significantly reduced retinal edema and increased the number of RGCs in RIR rats. With NAS therapy, the HMGB1 and RAGE expression decreased significantly, and the activation of the NF-κB/NLRP3 pathway was antagonized along with the inhibition of p-NF-κB and NLRP3 protein expression. Additionally, NAS exhibited an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing IL-1β expression. The inhibitory of RAGE binding to HMGB1 by RAGE inhibitor FPS-ZM1 led to a significant decrease of p-NF-κB and NLRP3 expression, so as to the IL-1β expression and retinal edema, accompanied by an increase of RGCs in RIR rats. • CONCLUSION: NAS may exhibit a neuroprotective effect against RIR via the HMGB1/RAGE/NF-κB signaling pathway, which may be a useful therapeutic target for retinal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • N-acetylserotonin
  • high mobility group box 1
  • nuclear factor-κB
  • rats
  • receptor for advanced glycation end-products
  • retinal ischemia—reperfusion injury
  • • KEYWORDS: retinal diseases


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