Neuroprotection and Ability to Regenerate of Retinal Ganglion Cells
Thanos S., Rose K., Volk F.
Department of Experimental Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital, Münster
Purpose: Spontaneous axonal regeneration does not occur in the visual pathway of higher vertebrates including the humans. The present study was undertaken to show whether ganglion cells of the monkey retina regenerate their axons in organ culture.
Method: Fresh retinas of monkey eyes of different ages (first postnatal day to 12th year of age) were prepared to produce organotypic cultures. Axonal growth was monitored from the first day to the second week in culture. Different substrates (laminin, collagen, polylysin and matrigel) were tested. Speed of growth was examined with time-lapse cinematography. The different types of regenerating ganglion cells types were determined with neuroanatomical methods.
Results: 1: Massiv axonal regeneration was only observed on laminin-1. 2: Retinas of all ages were able to regenerate axons with decreasing numbers with age. 3: All types of ganglion cells of the parvo- and magnocellular system were able for regeneration. 4: The ability to regenerate is controlled by expression of the growth-associated molecule GAP-43 and the receptor for laminin (a6-integrin)
Conclusions: Retinal ganglion cells retain the ability to regenerate their axons after axotomy.
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