Fatty Acids Dietary Supplements Exert Anti-Inflammatory Action and Limit Ganglion Cell Degeneration in the Retina of the EAE Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis
Dal Monte, M.; Cammalleri, M.; Locri, F.; Amato, R.; Marsili, S.; Rusciano, D.; Bagnoli, P.
Optic neuritis is an acute inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the optic nerve (ON) and is an initial symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Optic neuritis is characterized by ON degeneration and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss that contributes to permanent visual disability and lacks a reliable treatment. Here, we used the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS, a well-established model also for optic neuritis. In this model, C57BL6 mice, intraperitoneally injected with a fragment of the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), were found to develop inflammation, Müller cell gliosis, and infiltration of macrophages with increased production of oncomodulin (OCM), a calcium binding protein that acts as an atypical trophic factor for neurons enabling RGC axon regeneration. Immunolabeling of retinal whole mounts with a Brn3a antibody demonstrated drastic RGC loss. Dietary supplementation with Neuro-FAG (nFAG®), a balanced mixture of fatty acids (FAs), counteracted inflammatory and gliotic processes in the retina. In contrast, infiltration of macrophages and their production of OCM remained at elevated levels thus eventually preserving OCM trophic activity. In addition, the diet supplement with nFAG exerted a neuroprotective effect preventing MOG-induced RGC death. In conclusion, these data suggest that the balanced mixture of FAs may represent a useful form of diet supplementation to limit inflammatory events and death of RGCs associated to optic neuritis. This would occur without affecting macrophage infiltration and the release of OCM thus favoring the maintenance of OCM neuroprotective role.