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Sandra B. Ogueta, Steven D. Schwartz, Clyde K. Yamashita, Debora B. Farber; Estrogen Receptor in the Human Eye: Influence of Gender and Age on Gene Expression. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(9):1906-1911.
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purpose. Many epidemiologic studies indicate an increased incidence of certain
vision threatening conditions in postmenopausal women. These data
suggest that changes in sex steroid homeostasis may affect the
physiology of the eye. To provide support to this hypothesis,
the expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in human eye
tissues was investigated.
methods. Complementary studies including RNA analysis by reverse transcription
polymerase chain reaction, western blot analysis, and
immunocytochemistry were used to provide evidence of ERα expression.
Protein detection was carried out using a mouse monoclonal antibody
raised against an epitope located in the ligand binding domain of the
human receptor. Cellular localization was studied on formalin-fixed
paraffin-embedded eye sections using conventional immunohistochemical
results. Gender and age differences in ERα mRNA expression were observed in
retina. The 65-kDa ERα protein was detected in the retina and retinal
pigment epithelium (RPE) of young female eyes but not in eye tissues
dissected from men and postmenopausal women. Immunocytochemistry
corroborated ERα staining of a young female neurosensory retina and
RPE. In addition, ERα could be detected in the ciliary body, in the
iris, and in the epithelium of the lens.
conclusions. The presence of the ERα in the human eye suggests that the sex
steroid hormone axis may play a role in the pathogenesis of certain
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