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M.A. Allende; TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR –ß IN HUMAN FOETAL EYE . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):3544.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: The transforming growth factor ß (TGF–ß) gene superfamily codes for multifunctional cytokines important in cell growth and differentiation, extracellular matrix deposition, wound healing, hematopoiesis, angiogenesis, chemotaxis, immunity functions and apoptosis. Three TGF–ß isoforms are known to exist in mammals: TGF– ß1,TGF– ß2 and TGF– ß3 and all have been observed in ocular tissue suggesting a role in ocular development and homeostasis. This study investigated the immunoreactivity patterns of TGF– ß and mRNA expression pattern of TGF– ß3 in human eye development with particular attention to the incipient fovea. Methods: Eleven human foetal eyes between 14 and 19 weeks’ gestation were examined. Frozen sections through peripheral and central retina were compared by labelling with antibody to TGF–ß protein and vimentin, an antibody to Müller cell intermediate filaments. Sections were imaged using upright confocal microscope. RNA isolated from foetal eyes was reverse transcribed to cDNA and amplified by PCR using specific primers for TGF– ß3. Amplified cDNA was inserted into pGEM–T Easy vector, cloned and used as a template for in situ hybridisation digoxigenin labelled riboprobes. Paraffin embedded sections through the fovea were analysed to identify expression pattern of mRNA for TGF– ß3. Results:Immunoreactivity was greatest in the photoreceptor layer in the foveal region in all samples studied and increased with age except for TGF– ß1. It was also seen in the nerve fibre layer, ganglion cell layer, inner nuclear layer and choroid. RT–PCR showed that all TGF– ß isoforms tested were present in the foetal eye. The identities of the TGF– ß were confirmed by sequencing. In situ hybridisation showed a pattern of expression for TGF– ß3 in ganglion cells, photoreceptor layer and choriocapillaris that was greatest within the incipient fovea. Conclusions: Immunoreactivity of TGF– ß in the photoreceptor layer where the central to peripheral pattern of TGF– ß expression is most obvious suggests a specific role for TGF– ß. All TGF– ß isoforms are expressed in foetal eye development. Pattern of expression of TGF– ß3 in ganglion cells, photoreceptor layer and choriocapillaris during second trimester suggest TGF– ß role in morphogenesis, development and/or differentiation of fovea.
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