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

Expression of neurotrophins and trk receptors in the avian retina.

Using the RNase protection assay, we have found that nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor ( BDNF), and neurotrophin-3 ( NT-3) are expressed in the avian retina during development. The expression peaks around embryonic days 12-15, with decreasing levels at later stages of development. Abundant levels of NGF and BDNF but low levels of NT-3 mRNA were found in the adult retina. We also found that light/darkness regulated the levels of NGF and BDNF mRNAs but not the levels of NT-3 mRNA in the 5-day-old chicken retina. It was demonstrated that NGF and BDNF mRNA levels were up-regulated by light exposure. The cellular localization of mRNA expression for the neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC in the retina was studied using in situ hybridization. The patterns of NGF and trkA mRNA expression were very similar and were localized to the external part of the inner nuclear layer on the border with the outer plexiform layer and corresponded to the localization of horizontal cells. NT-3 labeling was also found over the external part of the inner nuclear layer, whereas trkC mRNA was found over all layers in the retina. BDNF labeling was found over all layers in the retina, whereas TrkB labeling was intense over cells in the ganglion cell layer, which is in agreement with the response of ganglion cells to BDNF stimulation. Functional neurotrophin receptors were suggested by the response of retinal explants to neurotrophin stimulation. These data indicate that the neurotrophins play local roles in the retina that involve interactions between specific neuronal populations, which were identified by the localization of the Trk receptor expression. The data also suggest that NGF and BDNF expression is regulated by normal neuron usage in the retina.[1]


  1. Expression of neurotrophins and trk receptors in the avian retina. Hallböök, F., Bäckström, A., Kullander, K., Ebendal, T., Carri, N.G. J. Comp. Neurol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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