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Matthew J. Gastinger, Alistair J. Barber, Sonny A. Khin, Connie S. McRill, Thomas W. Gardner, David W. Marshak; Abnormal Centrifugal Axons in Streptozotocin- Diabetic Rat Retinas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(11):2679-2685.
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purpose. To characterize the effects of diabetes on the expression of histidine
decarboxylase mRNA and on the morphology of the histaminergic
centrifugal axons in the rat retina.
methods. Rats were made diabetic by streptozotocin. After 3 months, retinal
histidine decarboxylase expression was analyzed by in situ
hybridization in radial sections. Flatmount retinas from a second group
of rats were labeled with an antiserum to histamine or an antibody to
phosphorylated neurofilament protein.
results. Histidine decarboxylase mRNA was expressed in cells in the inner and
outer nuclear layers of diabetic retinas, but not in normal retinas.
However, immunoreactive (IR) histamine was not localized to perikarya
in either the normal or the diabetic retinas. Instead, a population of
centrifugal axons was labeled. These axons emerged from the optic disc
and had varicose terminal branches in the inner plexiform layer (IPL)
of the peripheral retina. Some branches ended on large retinal blood
vessels and others in dense clusters in the IPL. In rats with
streptozotocin-induced diabetes, the centrifugal axon terminals
developed many large swellings that contained neurofilament
immunoreactivity; these swellings were rare in normal retinas.
conclusions. Diabetes perturbs the retinal histaminergic system, causing increases
in histidine decarboxylase mRNA expression in neurons or glia and
abnormal focal swellings on the centrifugal
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