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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intravitreal injections of neurotrophic factors and forskolin enhance survival and axonal regeneration of axotomized beta ganglion cells in cat retina.

Some retinal ganglion cells in adult cats survive axotomy for two months and regenerate their axons when a peripheral nerve is transplanted to the transected optic nerve. However, regenerated retinal ganglion cells were fewer than 4% of the total retinal ganglion cell population in the intact retina. The present study examined the effects of intravitreal injections of neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, ciliary neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin 4), first on the survival of axotomized cat retinal ganglion cells within 2 weeks, and then on axonal regeneration of the retinal ganglion cells for 2 months after peripheral nerve transplantation. We tested first enhancement of the survival by one of the factors, and then one or two of them supplemented with forskolin, which increases intracellular cAMP. Single injections of 0.5 microg or 1 microg brain-derived neurotrophic factor, 1 microg ciliary neurotrophic factor, or 1 microg glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor significantly increased total numbers of surviving retinal ganglion cells; 1.6-1.8 times those in control retinas. Identification of retinal ganglion cell types with Lucifer Yellow injections revealed that the increase of surviving beta cells was most conspicuous: 2.5-fold (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) to 3.6-fold (ciliary neurotrophic factor). A combined injection of 1 microg brain-derived neurotrophic factor, 1 microg ciliary neurotrophic factor, and 0.1 mg forskolin resulted in a 4.7-fold increase of surviving beta cells, i.e. 50% survival on day 14. On the axonal regeneration by peripheral nerve transplantation, a combined injection of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, ciliary neurotrophic factor, and forskolin resulted in a 3.4-fold increase of beta cells with regenerated axons. The increase of regenerated beta cells was mainly due to the enhancing effect of neurotrophic factors on their survival, and possibly to a change of retinal ganglion cell properties by cAMP to facilitate their axonal regeneration.[1]


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