Alpha lipoic acid attenuates the long-term effects of lead exposure in retinal ischemic injury mouse model

  • Shweta Modgil
  • Sridhar Bammidi
  • Avijit Banik
  • Vijay Lakshmi Sharma
  • Akshay AnandEmail author
Research Article


Lead (Pb) exposure is reported to be unsafe for humans. There have been several studies documenting acute and chronic Pb toxicity on the organ systems. New studies suggest that early-life exposure to such environmental toxins may increase the susceptibility to late-onset degenerative disorders. We aimed to examine the long-term effects of early-life postnatal exposure of Pb on retinal degeneration. Pb exposure (200 ppm) was provided either at postnatal day 1 through lactation (early-life exposure) or at 7th week of age (adulthood exposure) directly through drinking water for 20 days. The Pb-treated mice were followed till 20 weeks of age. At 20th week, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury was induced in these mice by pterygopalatine artery ligation. Further, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) was administered to examine its neuroprotective effects against retinal damage. Histological and molecular analysis revealed that Pb-treated mice had greater retinal damage after I/R injury as compared to untreated or ALA treated mice, suggesting that ALA protects the early-life Pb exposure and its consequent impact on later life. The elevated levels of glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and reduced levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) upon ALA pre-treatment suggest that it probably exerts anti-inflammatory effects via upregulation of neurotrophic factors.


Ischemia/reperfusion Lead toxicity Retina Developmental exposure Alpha lipoic acid 


Author contribution

AA conceptualised and edited manuscript; SM performed experiments and manuscript writing; SB performed experiments; AB and VS edited the manuscript.


The funding was provided by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, grant no. 09/135(0666)/2012.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shweta Modgil
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sridhar Bammidi
    • 1
  • Avijit Banik
    • 3
  • Vijay Lakshmi Sharma
    • 2
  • Akshay Anand
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuroscience Research Lab, Department of NeurologyPost Graduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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