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Pia Grotegut, Sandra Kuehn, Hannah Doepper, Burkhard Dick, Stephanie Carolin Joachim; Intravitreal HSP27 injection leads to retinal degeneration in rats. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4929.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) is a molecular chaperone and is most commonly involved in cellular stress. Glaucoma patients showed an increased HSP27 level and autoantibodies against HSP27. Moreover, systemic application of HSP27 in rats induced a degeneration that resembles glaucomatous damage. Here, the direct effects of intravitreal HSP27 application were investigated.
HSP27 (0.4 µg) or PBS were injected intravitreally in one eye per rat. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured over 21 days. At day 21, retinal cross-sections and longitudinal optic nerve sections (n=6/group) were used for immunohistology to evaluate retinal ganglion cells (RGCs; Brn-3a), amacrine cells (calretinin), bipolar cells (PKC-α), neurofilament (SMI-32) and myelin (LFB). Both groups were compared using student’s t-test.
The IOP in HSP27 and PBS treated eyes was comparable. Significantly fewer RGCs (HSP27: 65.5%±28.0; PBS: 100±24.4%, p=0.046) and amacrine cells (HSP27: 85.1±13.0; PBS:100%±7.9%, p=0.038) were observed in the HSP27 group. The number of PKC-α+ bipolar cells in the HSP27 and PBS group were comparable (p>0.05). Additionally, a significant higher SMI-32 score was observed in HSP27 optic nerves (1.0±0.1), in comparison to the PBS group (0.7±0.2, p=0.049). While no changes were observed regarding the LFB score (p>0.05).
Intravitreal HSP27 injection leads to a degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and their axons, but also of amacrine cells. This suggests that the HSP27 might have a direct damaging effect on retinal cells.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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