Sci Rep. 2023 Nov 17;13(1):20145. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-46104-0.
Retinal ischemia‒reperfusion (I/R) injury can cause significant damage to human retinal neurons, greatly compromising their functions. Existing interventions have been proven to have little effect. Ferroptosis is a newly discovered type of programmed cell death that has been found to be involved in the process of ischemia‒reperfusion in multiple organs throughout the body. Studies have shown that it is also present in retinal ischemia‒reperfusion injury. A rat model of retinal ischemia‒reperfusion injury was constructed and treated with deferoxamine. In this study, we found the accumulation of Fe2+, reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), and the consumption of glutathione (GSH) via ELISA testing; increased expression of transferrin; and decreased expression of ferritin, SLC7A11, and GPX4 via Western blotting (WB) and real-time PCR testing. Structural signs of ferroptosis (mitochondrial shrinkage) were observed across multiple cell types, including retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), photoreceptor cells, and pigment epithelial cells. Changes in visual function were detected by F-VEP and ERG. The results showed that iron and oxidative stress were increased in the retinal ischemia‒reperfusion injury model, resulting in ferroptosis and tissue damage. Deferoxamine protects the structural and functional soundness of the retina by inhibiting ferroptosis through the simultaneous inhibition of hemochromatosis, the initiation of transferrin, and the degradation of ferritin and activating the antioxidant capacity of the System Xc-GSH-GPX4 pathway.