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      Development of normal and injury-induced gene expression of aFGF, bFGF, CNTF, BDNF, GFAP and IGF-I in the rat retina.

      Experimental Eye Research
      Analysis of Variance, Animals, Blotting, Northern, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, metabolism, Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor, Fibroblast Growth Factor 1, Fibroblast Growth Factor 2, Gene Expression, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Proteins, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Retina, growth & development, injuries, Rod Opsins, Wounds and Injuries

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          Abstract

          Focal mechanical injury to the retina substantially increases basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) mRNA expression, accompanied by a transient increase in FGFR-1 mRNA, and this response is thought to protect photoreceptors near the injury site from inherited and light-induced retinal degenerations. We have now examined retinal gene expression of the principal survival factors involved in the response to injury in normal rats as a function of postnatal age both in normal and injured retinas. Sprague-Dawley rats were injured in one eye by needle incision through the retina at postnatal day (P) 10, 22, 35, 60, 90, 120 and 180. The other eye was uninjured and served as the control. Retinas were taken 1 day post-injury. Northern blot analysis was performed to determine the mRNA expression of the following factors and receptors: bFGF and acidic fibroblast growth factors (aFGF) and FGF receptor-1 (FGFR-1); CNTF and CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFR-alpha); brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor trk B; and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR); glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and opsin. In the uninjured control eyes, mRNA expression of most of the factors increased with postnatal age, with little expression at P10 and maximal expression levels reached at P22 (opsin), P35 (aFGF), P60 (BDNF) or P90 (bFGF, FGFR-1, CNTF and GFAP). In contrast, IGF-1 mRNA rapidly decreased from a high level of expression at P10 to about 55% of that level by P22, reaching a stable 45-50% of the P10 level at P35 and thereafter. The response to injury of bFGF, FGFR-1, CNTF and GFAP mRNAs increased with postnatal age. Unexpectedly, only minimal increases in bFGF, FGFR-1, CNTF and GFAP over those seen in the control eyes were observed before P35. Thereafter, the increase of bFGF mRNA after injury reached a maximum of three-fold at P60, maintained this level to P120, and slightly decreased to 2.5-fold by P180. Expression of FGFR-1 mRNA showed a maximum increase of 2.6-fold at P90. Expression of CNTF and GFAP mRNAs followed a time course similar to that of bFGF. Mechanical injury did not alter the mRNA levels of aFGF, BDNF, IGF-I, and receptors, CNTFR-alpha, trk B and IGF-IR. These data show that the response to injury is minimal at early postnatal ages but increases with age and peaks at P60-90 for most potential survival factors. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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