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

Early transcriptional changes of retinal and choroidal TGFbeta-2, RALDH-2, and ZENK following imposed positive and negative defocus in chickens.

PURPOSE: Imposing defocus to the retina results in compensatory changes of axial eye growth. It is not clear which factors initially contribute to this process and whether they act on the post-translational, translational, or transcriptional level. We have measured early changes in mRNA levels, in response to imposed negative and positive defocus, of the transcription factor ZENK, the retinoic acid synthesis enzyme RALDH-2, and the growth factor TGFbeta-2. METHODS: Chickens 11 days of age were unilaterally treated with positive or negative spectacle lenses of 7 D power. After 0, 15, 30, and 120 min, mRNA was extracted from retina and choroid, and the concentration of the mRNAs of the three candidates was measured by quantitative real time PCR in both eyes. RESULTS: ZENK in the retina and RALDH-2 in the choroid displayed parallel signs of defocus dependent changes in mRNA levels after 15 or 30 min, respectively. ZENK mRNA levels were reduced in the retina after 15 min with both types of lenses but were then up regulated at 30 min with positive lenses and down regulated with negative lenses, similar to the previously observed changes in ZENK protein levels. Changes of RALDH-2 and TGFbeta-2 mRNA levels were confined to the choroid. Treatment with negative lenses resulted in a rapid (15 min) and persistent decrease in TGFbeta-2 mRNA concentration in the choroid. Negative lenses provoked parallel but less pronounced alterations in the open fellow eyes. CONCLUSIONS: Imposed defocus triggers extensive transcriptional changes of ZENK in the retina, and of TGFbeta-2 and RALHD-2 in the choroid. Changes in retina and choroid are rapid, show no phase delay with respect to each other, and can be considered, in the case of RALDH-2 and ZENK, as specific for the sign of imposed defocus. They occur prior to any morphological changes. This is consistent with a role in causing or controlling later changes in eye growth.[1]


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