Arginase Pathway in Acute Retina and Brain Injury: Therapeutic Opportunities and Unexplored Avenues

Abdelrahman Y. Fouda, Wael Eldahshan, S. Priya Narayanan, R. William Caldwell, Ruth B. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ischemic retinopathies represent a major cause of visual impairment and blindness. They include diabetic retinopathy (DR), acute glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and central (or branch) retinal artery occlusion (CRAO). These conditions share in common a period of ischemia or reduced blood supply to the retinal tissue that eventually leads to neuronal degeneration. Similarly, acute brain injury from ischemia or trauma leads to neurodegeneration and can have devastating consequences in patients with stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). In all of these conditions, current treatment strategies are limited by their lack of effectiveness, adverse effects or short time window for administration. Therefore, there is a great need to identify new therapies for acute central nervous system (CNS) injury. In this brief review article, we focus on the pathway of the arginase enzyme as a novel therapeutic target for acute CNS injury. We review the recent work on the role of arginase enzyme and its downstream components in neuroprotection in both retina and brain acute injury models. Delineating the similarities and differences between the role of arginase in the retina and brain neurodegeneration will allow for better understanding of the role of arginase in CNS disorders. This will also facilitate repurposing the arginase pathway as a new therapeutic target in both retina and brain diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number277
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Mar 17 2020


  • arginase
  • brain
  • ischemic injury
  • polyamines
  • retina
  • traumatic injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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