Exposure to blast overpressure waves is implicated as the major cause of ocular injuries and resultant visual dysfunction in veterans involved in recent combat operations. No effective therapeutic strategies have been developed so far for blast-induced ocular dysfunction. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive phospholipid generated by activated platelets, astrocytes, choroidal plexus cells, and microglia and is reported to play major roles in stimulating inflammatory processes. The levels of LPA in the cerebrospinal fluid have been reported to increase acutely in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as in a controlled cortical impact (CCI) TBI model in mice. In the present study, we have evaluated the efficacy of a single intravenous administration of a monoclonal LPA antibody (25 mg/kg) given at 1 h post-blast for protection against injuries to the retina and associated ocular dysfunctions. Our results show that a single 19 psi blast exposure significantly increased the levels of several species of LPA in blood plasma at 1 and 4 h post-blast. The anti-LPA antibody treatment significantly decreased glial cell activation and preserved neuronal cell morphology in the retina on day 8 after blast exposure. Optokinetic measurements indicated that anti-LPA antibody treatment significantly improved visual acuity in both eyes on days 2 and 6 post-blast exposure. Anti-LPA antibody treatment significantly increased rod photoreceptor and bipolar neuronal cell signaling in both eyes on day 7 post-blast exposure. These results suggest that blast exposure triggers release of LPAs, which play a major role promoting blast-induced ocular injuries, and that a single early administration of anti-LPA antibodies provides significant protection.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Frontiers in Neurology, v. 11, article 611816.

© 2020 Arun, Rossetti, DeMar, Wang, Batuure, Wilder, Gist, Morris, Sabbadini and Long

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This study was funded by Lpath Inc. (San Diego, CA), through a Co-operative Research and Development Agreement (12-0234) with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, MD).

Related Content

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary materials, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author/s.