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Kenji Kashiwagi, Bo Ou, Shinichiro Nakamura, Yuko Tanaka, Michihiro Suzuki, Shigeo Tsukahara; Increase in Dephosphorylation of the Heavy Neurofilament Subunit in the Monkey Chronic Glaucoma Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(1):154-159. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0398.
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purpose. To investigate the phosphorylation of the heavy neurofilament subunit (NF-H), which could be deeply involved in axonal transport of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), in an experimental glaucoma model of chronic elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) in monkeys.
methods. One eye in adult monkeys was randomly selected for laser treatment, and IOP was maintained between 30 and 40 mm Hg throughout the experiment. The eyeballs with the optic nerve and optic chiasm were enucleated as one tissue and were subject to immunocytochemical observation, using two NF-H–specific antibodies, NF-200 and SMI31. NF-200 reacts with both phosphorylated and dephosphorylated NF-H, whereas SMI reacts only with phosphorylated NF-H. Ratios of SMI31-positive to NF-200-positive areas were calculated for quantitative evaluation of phosphorylation status. Specimens from the retina, lamina cribrosa (LC), post-LC, and optic chiasm were evaluated separately. Phosphorylation of NF-H at the retina and optic nerve head was compared between specimens from temporal retina and nasal retina, or between temporal and nasal regions of the optic disc. The status of phosphorylation was confirmed by Western blot analysis.
results. An enlargement of the disc cup was observed on the temporal side, and the superior and inferior poles were preferentially involved in the neuronal damage in laser-treated eyes. Most NF-Hs in the control eyes were phosphorylated in all investigated regions, whereas those in the glaucomatous eyes were significantly dephosphorylated, and NF-Hs in the temporal region were significantly dephosphorylated compared with those in the nasal region. At the optic chiasm, NF-Hs in axons traveling from laser-treated eyes were highly dephosphorylated, and the extent of NF-H dephosphorylation corresponded to the degree of glaucoma-induced axonal damage. Western blot analysis showed the change in the phosphorylation of NF-Hs.
conclusions. NF-Hs in RGC axons are dephosphorylated by elevated IOP, which may be deeply involved in glaucoma-induced damage to axonal transport.
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