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Mónica García, Valerie Forster, David Hicks, Elena Vecino; In Vivo Expression of Neurotrophins and Neurotrophin Receptors Is Conserved in Adult Porcine Retina In Vitro. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(10):4532-4541. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0419.
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purpose. To characterize and compare the expression of neurotrophins (NTs) and their receptors within adult porcine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo and in vitro.
methods. The distribution of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and -4 (NT-4), and their high-affinity receptors TrkA, TrkB, TrkC and low-affinity receptor p75, was analyzed in adult porcine retinal sections by immunohistochemistry. In addition, adult porcine retinas were dissociated and cultured in four different conditions: control, semipure RGCs, supplemented with BDNF, or seeded on Müller glia feeder layers. Double immunostaining was performed with antibodies to NTs or their receptors combined with neurofilament antibody to identify RGCs in culture.
results. In vivo, immunolabeling of NGF was very faint, BDNF was especially prominent in RGCs and inner nuclear layer cells, NT-3 stained widespread nuclei, and NT-4 was undetectable. TrkA immunoreactivity was visible in the nerve fiber layer, TrkB staining was within RGC bodies, TrkC was undetectable, and p75 was widely expressed across the retina, within the Müller glia. Expression of neurotrophins and their receptors was maintained in all four models of adult RGCs in vitro, showing that expression was not influenced by substrate or culture conditions. We observed prominent staining of TrkA within growth cones, and a clear expression of p75 within a subpopulation of RGCs in vitro.
conclusions. These findings demonstrate that the expression of NTs and their receptors within adult porcine RGCs is maintained in vitro, under conditions of limited interaction with neighboring neurons and deprived of afferent inputs and target tissue. TrkA may be involved in regeneration of nerve terminals.
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