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Wendi Lambert, Rajnee Agarwal, William Howe, Abbot F. Clark, Robert J. Wordinger; Neurotrophin and Neurotrophin Receptor Expression by Cells of the Human Lamina Cribrosa. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(10):2315-2323.
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purpose. To determine whether cells and tissue from the human lamina cribrosa
(LC) express neurotrophin and tyrosine kinase (trk) receptor mRNA and
protein and whether these cells secrete neurotrophins.
methods. Synthesis of cDNA and the reverse transcription–polymerase chain
reaction (RT-PCR) were conducted using total RNA obtained from
well-characterized cell lines from the human LC and human optic nerve
head (ONH) tissue. Immunofluorescent localization and Western blot
analysis were used to evaluate neurotrophin and trk protein expression
in cells and tissue from the human LC. Immunoassay systems (ELISAs)
were used to detect the secretion of neurotrophins.
results. Two morphologically distinct cell types (LC cells and ONH astrocytes)
were isolated and characterized from the human LC. Messenger RNA for
each of the neurotrophins, three full-length trk receptors and two
truncated trk receptors were detected in both cell types and in human
ONH tissue. Protein for the neurotrophins and trk receptors were
detected in LC cells, ONH astrocytes, and ONH tissue. Neither cell type
expressed mRNA or protein for the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor
p75. The secretion of neurotrophins was observed in both cell types.
conclusions. Cells from the human LC express mRNA and protein of neurotrophins and
trk receptors. In addition, cells from the LC secrete neurotrophins,
which suggests that there is paracrine and/or autocrine signaling
within the LC. Neurotrophin signaling within this region of the ONH may
play important roles in the maintenance of the normal LC and in such
diseases as glaucoma.
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