A Naturally-Derived Compound Schisandrin B Enhanced Light Sensation in the pde6c Zebrafish Model of Retinal Degeneration
Recently, we discovered that retinal degenerations are progressive retinal disorders which would cause irreversible vision loss if left untreated. Some forms of retinal degenerations are generated by damages to the photoreceptor cells, the light-sensitive neurons in the retina. There are two types of photoreceptor cells: cones for bright-light and colour vision, and rods for dim-light vision. Therefore, protecting the photoreceptor cells would be beneficial to patients with retinal degenerations.
Many traditional Chinese medicines have been documented to benefit vision. One example is Five-flavor fruit (Fructus Schisandrae), which has long been consumed by various populations for sustaining health and good vision. One of its active chemicals, Schisandrin B (SchB), has been demonstrated to protect human health from heart attack and cancer. Recently, we discover SchB is able to protect the rods in a retinal degeneration animal model Zebrafish . SchB treatment significantly reduces the size of the abnormally large rods. Functionally, SchB treatment enhances the light induced movements in Zebrafish with retinal degeneration. Our data could establish SchB treatment as a functional therapy for treating patients who suffered from retinal degenerations.