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Josef Troger, Alfred Doblinger, Johannes Leierer, Andrea Laslop, Eduard Schmid, Barbara Teuchner, Markus Opatril, Wolfgang Philipp, Lars Klimaschewski, Kristian Pfaller, Wolfgang Göttinger, Reiner Fischer-Colbrie; Secretoneurin in the Peripheral Ocular Innervation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(2):647-654. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-0425.
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purpose. To evaluate whether secretoneurin represents a sensory neuropeptide innervating the anterior segment of the eye.
methods. The presence and distribution of secretoneurin was investigated in human eyes by radioimmunoassay and immunofluorescence and compared with that of the rat eye. The source of secretoneurin-positive nerves in the eye was established by measuring the concentration in eye tissues, the trigeminal and superior cervical ganglia both in control rats and in rats treated with capsaicin, and by performing immunofluorescence in one rat subjected to sympathectomy. In the rat trigeminal ganglion, the corresponding mRNA was verified by in situ hybridization and the processing of secretogranin II into secretoneurin by gel filtration chromatography.
results. In human eyes, the highest levels of the peptide were found in the choroid. Nerve fibers were visualized in both species in the upper corneal and limbal stroma; in the trabecular meshwork; in the ciliary muscle, the ciliary body stroma, and processes; and in clear association with the dilator muscle, which disappeared after sympathetic denervation in rats; and also innervating the sphincter muscle in the iris and the choroidal stroma and surrounding blood vessels. Significant amounts of secretoneurin were present in the rat trigeminal ganglion and rat eye tissues. Capsaicin pretreatment led to a 57.0% ± 4.3% and 59.1% ± 11.9% decrease of the concentration in the trigeminal ganglion and the iris/ciliary body complex, respectively. Despite high levels in the rat superior cervical ganglion, sympathetic denervation failed to lower the concentration in eye tissues. The secretogranin II probe labeled numerous small-sized ganglion cells within the rat trigeminal ganglion, and the precursor of the peptide was found to become completely processed into secretoneurin.
conclusions. Apart from the sympathetically innervated dilator muscle, there is unequivocal evidence that secretoneurin represents a constituent of capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons in the rat trigeminal ganglion and of unmyelinated C-fibers in the rat iris/ciliary body complex, which indicates a participation of this peptide in the ocular irritative response, a model for neurogenic inflammation in lower mammals. Because of the association of nerves with blood vessels and potent angiogenic properties, secretoneurin may be involved in neovascularization processes.
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