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Luke A. Wiley, Bruce A. Berkowitz, Jena J. Steinle; Superior Cervical Ganglionectomy Induces Changes in Growth Factor Expression in the Rat Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(1):439-443. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0656.
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purpose. To determine whether sympathetic nerves regulate expression of known angiogenic growth factors.
methods. Surgical sympathectomy (SNX) was used to remove sympathetic innervation to the eye. Real-time PCR was used to measure steady state mRNA expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2, angiopoietin-1, and Tie2. Western blot analysis was performed to assess protein expression. Blood–retinal barrier (BRB) permeability surface area product (PS) was measured using enhanced MRI on a separate group of control and SNX rats.
results. mRNA of both VEGF and VEGFR-2 decreased significantly at 6 weeks after SNX. VEGF protein expression also decreased significantly. VEGFR-2 protein was unchanged. Both angiopoietin-1 and Tie2 mRNA expression increased significantly after SNX. Immunoblot analysis showed that angiopoietin-1 protein expression coincided with its mRNA expression. Tie2 protein expression was unaffected. Sympathetic denervation did not significantly increase BRB PS.
conclusions. Surgical SNX results in a reduction in VEGF gene and protein expression, while increasing protein expression of Ang-1. These findings suggest that sympathetic nerves regulate the expression of angiogenic growth factors in rat retina.
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