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Thomas G. Hauk, Marco Leibinger, Adrienne Müller, Anastasia Andreadaki, Uwe Knippschild, Dietmar Fischer; Stimulation of Axon Regeneration in the Mature Optic Nerve by Intravitreal Application of the Toll-like Receptor 2 Agonist Pam3Cys. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(1):459-464. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4203.
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After injury of the optic nerve, mature retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are normally unable to regenerate axons and undergo apoptosis. However, inflammatory stimulation in the eye induced by the release of β/γ-crystallins from the injured lens or intravitreal zymosan injection transforms RGCs into an active regenerative state, protecting these neurons from cell death and allowing them to regenerate axons back into the optic nerve.
The authors tested whether intravitreal application of the selective, water-soluble, toll-like receptor 2 agonist Pam3Cys can delay axotomized RGC cell death and stimulate the regeneration of axons using an in vitro and in vivo paradigm.
Intravitreal injection of Pam3Cys, as lens injury (LI), induced the upregulation of ciliary neurotrophic factor and glial fibrillary acidic protein expression in retinal glia accompanied by the activation of the JAK/STAT3 pathway in RGCs. As a consequence, RGCs switched to a regenerative state, indicated by a significant upregulation of GAP43 expression and increased neurite outgrowth of RGCs in culture. Repeated intravitreal Pam3Cys application in vivo induced neuroprotective effects and caused stronger axon regeneration in the injured optic nerve than observed after LI.
Pam3Cys may be a suitable agent for stimulating CNS regeneration.
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