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Jeffrey L. Bennett, Steven R. Zeiler, Kevin R. Jones; Patterned Expression of BDNF and NT-3 in the Retina and Anterior Segment of the Developing Mammalian Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(12):2996-3005.
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purpose. The neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and
neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are hypothesized to play an important role in
vertebrate eye development because of their patterned expression in the
developing and adult neuroretina, their regulated response to retinal
and optic nerve injury, and the effects of altered neurotrophin
signaling on retinal development. To further characterize the role of
these neurotrophins in mammalian eye development and maintenance, the
pattern of expression of BDNF and NT-3 was analyzed in the developing
and mature mouse eye.
methods. Using mouse strains in which the reporter gene lacZ, encoding the
enzyme β-galactosidase, was targeted to either the BDNF or NT-3
locus, the expression of BDNF and NT-3 in the eyes of mice heterozygous
for these mutations was analyzed by enzyme histochemistry during
embryogenesis, postnatal development, and adulthood.
results. BDNF and NT-3 expression were first observed in the inner and
outer segments of the developing optic cup at embryonic days 10.5 to
11.5. As the retina matured, BDNF expression was restricted to retinal
ganglion cells and a subset of cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL),
whereas NT-3 expression was confined to a small subset of cells in the
INL and ganglion cell layer. Both neurotrophins were expressed within
the developing retinal pigment epithelium. In the anterior segment,
BDNF and NT-3 were expressed at high levels in the developing and
mature ciliary epithelium. In the lens and cornea, however, these
neurotrophins displayed distinct patterns of expression during
development and adulthood. BDNF expression was found in the lens
epithelium, immature trabecular meshwork, corneal endothelium, and
corneal epithelium, whereas NT-3 expression was confined to the corneal
conclusions. BDNF and NT-3 exhibit different, yet overlapping, patterns of
expression during the development and differentiation of the mouse eye.
In addition to the neuroretina, the spatiotemporal expression of BDNF
and NT-3 may play an important role in the development and maintenance
of the lens, ciliary body, trabecular meshwork, and
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