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Mamoru Tei, Sandra J. Spurr–Michaud, Ann S. Tisdale, Ilene K. Gipson; Vitamin A Deficiency Alters the Expression of Mucin Genes by the Rat Ocular Surface Epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(1):82-88.
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purpose. To study effects of depletion of retinoic acid on expression of the
mucins ASGP (rMuc4), rMuc5AC, and rMuc1, by the corneal and conjunctival epithelia of the rat.
methods. Nineteen-day-old Sprague–Dawley male rats were fed a casein-based
vitamin A–deficient diet or casein-based diet with vitamin A as
control. Rats from both groups were killed at 1, 3, 5, 13, 15, 18, and
20 weeks after initiation of feeding. Expression of the three mucin
genes by the ocular surface epithelium was assayed by reverse
transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ
results. In vitamin A–deficient rats, ASGP mRNA was not detected by RT-PCR
after 15 weeks of feeding. rMuc5AC mRNA was detected by RT-PCR at 15
weeks, but by 18 and 20 weeks was no longer detectable. By in situ
hybridization, ASGP mRNA was localized in the entire ocular surface
epithelium after 1 week of feeding, was diminished but detectable above
background by 13 weeks, and was not detectable at 20 weeks. rMuc5AC
mRNA was detected in the goblet cells of vitamin A–deficient rats by
in situ hybridization at 13 weeks, but was lost by 20 weeks, as were
identifiable goblet cells. rMuc1 mRNA were detected by RT-PCR through
all time points of 1 to 20 weeks in both vitamin A–deficient and
control rats, indicating no significant change in rMuc1 mRNA expression
with vitamin A deficiency.
conclusions. Both the membrane-spanning mucin ASGP (rMuc4) and the secretory mucin
rMuc5AC are directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin A in the ocular
surface epithelium, whereas the membrane-spanning mucin rMuc1 is
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