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Hani Levkovitch-Verbin, Rima Dardik, Shelly Vander, Yael Nisgav, Maya Kalev-Landoy, Shlomo Melamed; Experimental Glaucoma and Optic Nerve Transection Induce Simultaneous Upregulation of Proapoptotic and Prosurvival Genes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(6):2491-2497. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0996.
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purpose. To investigate changes in gene expression induced by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and complete optic nerve transsection (ONT) over time.
methods. A gene array of 18 signal transduction pathways was used to examine the changes in RNA profiles of retinas post-ONT in rats. Among the seven genes that were determined to be upregulated, four were confirmed to have higher expression by semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis: Ei24 and Gadd45a (both associated with apoptosis induced via the p53 pathway), IAP-1 (inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1), and Cdk2 (cell cycle regulation and apoptosis). Their mRNA levels were then studied by quantitative RT-PCR in experimental glaucoma and ONT over time. Levels of the corresponding proteins were evaluated by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry.
results. Proapoptotic genes from the p-53 pathway (Ei24 and Gadd45a), Cdk2 and the prosurvival gene IAP-1 (a caspase inhibitor) were simultaneously and significantly upregulated early after ONT, returning to baseline at 2 weeks. In experimental glaucoma, Gadd45a was significantly upregulated 1 week after induction of increased IOP and stayed upregulated for 2 months and long after IOP returned to baseline. The prosurvival gene IAP-1 was simultaneously upregulated but returned to baseline earlier than the proapoptotic gene. Ei24 and Cdk2 were only slightly upregulated in glaucoma. Western blot analysis demonstrated upregulation of Gadd45a and IAP-1 proteins. Immunohistochemistry localized these changes to the retinal ganglion cell layer.
conclusions. Members of the p-53 signal transduction pathway are significantly involved in glaucoma and ONT. The endogenous caspase inhibitor IAP-1 is upregulated simultaneously, possibly as part of an intrinsic neuroprotective mechanism. Changes in glaucoma are gradual and last long after IOP returns to normal.
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