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Qiang Lu, Qi Cui, Henry K. Yip, Kwok-Fai So; c-Jun Expression in Surviving and Regenerating Retinal Ganglion Cells: Effects of Intravitreal Neurotrophic Supply. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(12):5342-5348. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0444.
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purpose. To investigate c-jun expression in surviving and axon-regenerating retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and the effect of intravitreal neurotrophic supply on c-jun expression.
methods. All animals underwent optic nerve transection (ONT) 0.5 mm behind the eyeball. Some animals underwent a replacement of the optic nerve with an autologous sciatic nerve graft (SNG) to allow axonal regrowth. To provide a neurotrophic supply, a peripheral nerve (PN) segment or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) was applied intravitreally. The time course of c-jun expression was first examined in both surviving and regenerating RGCs. Then, c-jun expression was examined in surviving and regenerating RGCs 3 weeks after intravitreal BDNF/CNTF treatment. Animals with vehicle eye injection were used as the control. Fluorescent dye was used for retrograde labeling of surviving (applied behind the eyeball) and regenerating (applied at the distal end of the SNG) RGCs. All retinas were immunohistochemically stained for c-jun.
results. c-Jun was not detected in normal RGCs, but weak expression was seen in surviving RGCs after ON injury. The proportion of c-jun–positive (+) RGCs among surviving cell population was 52.6% to 86.5% 2 to 6 weeks after ONT. Among regenerating RGCs, more than 80% expressed c-jun in all treatment groups, a proportion that was significantly higher after CNTF treatment (90.7%). In addition, c-jun expression was much stronger in intensity and the c-jun+ nuclei were much larger in regenerating than in surviving RGCs.
conclusions. c-Jun expression in RGCs was upregulated after injury. Most regenerating RGCs were c-jun+, and the intensity of c-jun expression was higher in regenerating than in surviving RGCs. CNTF also upregulated c-jun expression in RGCs.
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