Korean J Ophthalmol.  2017 Feb;31(1):80-85. 10.3341/kjo.2017.31.1.80.

Effects of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor (Valproic Acid) on the Expression of Hypoxia-inducible Factor-1 Alpha in Human Retinal Müller Cells

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Inha Vision Science Laboratory, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. hschin@inha.ac.kr


To evaluate the effects of valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACI), on the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human retinal Müller cells under hypoxic conditions.
Chemical hypoxia was induced in human retinal Müller cells (MIO-M1) by treatment with increasing concentrations of cobalt(II) chloride (CoCl₂). Müller cells were also treated with a set concentration of CoCl₂, along with various concentrations of VPA. The expression of HIF-1α and VEGF in the treated Müller cells was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Exposure of human retinal Müller cells to increasing concentrations of CoCl₂ produced a dose-dependent increase in HIF-1α expression. The addition of increasing concentrations of VPA lead to a dose-dependent decrease in expression of HIF-1α and VEGF in Müller cells exposed to a set concentration of CoCl₂.
HDACI VPA downregulated the expressions of HIF-1α and VEGF in human retinal Müller cells under hypoxic conditions. Using HDACI to target HIF-1α expression in Müller cells could be a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases.


Histone deacetylase inhibitors; Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha; Retinal Muller cells; Valproic acid; Vascular endothelial growth factor
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