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Rosario Amato, Alessio Canovai, Alberto Melecchi, Samanta Maci, Filipa Quintela, Brenda A. Fonseca, Maurizio Cammalleri, Massimo Dal Monte; Efficacy of a Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) Extract as Nutritional Support in a Rat Model of Hypertensive Glaucoma. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023;12(11):6. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.12.11.6.
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Glaucoma is an eye–brain axis disorder characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Although the role of intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in glaucoma has been established, the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation has emerged as a promising target for neuronal tissue–supporting glaucoma management. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of a proprietary spearmint extract (SPE) on RGC density, activity, and neuronal health markers in a rat model of hypertensive glaucoma.
Animals were divided in four groups: untreated healthy control and three glaucomatous groups receiving orally administered vehicle, SPE-low dose, or SPE-high dose for 28 days. Ocular hypertension was induced through intracameral injection of methylcellulose at day 15. At day 29, rats underwent electroretinogram (ERG) recordings, and retinas were analyzed for RGC density and markers of neural trophism, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
SPE exerted dose-dependent response benefits on all markers except for IOP elevation. SPE significantly improved RGC-related ERG responses, cell density, neurotrophins, oxidative stress, and inflammation markers. Also, in SPE-high rats, most of the parameters were not statistically different from those of healthy controls.
SPE, a plant-based, polyphenolic extract, could be an effective nutritional support for neuronal tissues.
These results suggest that SPE not only may be a complementary approach in support to hypotensive treatments for the management of glaucoma but may also serve as nutritional support in other ocular conditions where antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective mechanism are often disrupted.
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